2020 Mercer Tennis Classic Main Draw Starts
Bellis, Lepchenko, Vickery Advance
MERCER UNIVERSITY and John Drew Smith Tennis Center – OCT 19 – OCT 25, 2020
USTA Pro Circuit 80K Event
MACON, Georgia, (October 21, 2020) The 2020 Mercer Tennis Classic singles main draw began under cloudy skies on Wednesday morning at the John Drew Smith Tennis Center in Macon. Those cloudy skies turned into rain in the late morning and delayed matches two hours and forty minutes.
That rain delayed the match of the day between No. 2 seed, Nina Stojanovic and former Macon champion, Varvara Lepchenko.
A see-saw first set went to the No. 2 seed with the rain hitting midway through the set. Stojanovic capitalized on three unforced errors at the end of the set to force a tiebreaker that she would win 7-6. If you know one thing about Varvara Lepchenko, it’s that she never gives up.
That came true in the second and third sets. Lepchenko found her backhand down the line in the second set to keep the No. 2 seed off balance. The American found herself down at a couple crucial junctions in the decider before edging Stojanovic 8-6 in the third set tiebreaker.
Three Americans that had an easier time advancing were Catherine Bellis, Sachia Vickery and Ann Li.
The Mercer Tennis Classic is the first USTA Pro Circuit event being held in the U.S. since professional tennis came to a halt in March.
Second round doubles action continues on Thursday.
Katie VOLYNETS (USA) def Caroline DOLEHIDE (USA) 7-6(3) 6-3
Varvara LEPCHENKO (USA) def Nina STOJANOVIC (SRB)  6-7(5) 6-2 7-6(6)
Catherine BELLIS (USA) def Lara ARRUABARRENA (ESP) 6-3 7-5
Ann LI (USA)  def Katerina STEWART (USA) 6-1 6-4
Sachia VICKERY (USA) def Diane PARRY (FRA) 6-3 6-1
Gabriela TALABA (ROU) def Greet MINNEN (BEL)  1-6 6-3 6-1
Misaki DOI (JPN)  def Lulu SUN (SUI) 6-2 6-0
Kristie AHN(USA)  def Tessah ANDRIANJAFITRIMO (FRA) 6-3 6-3
Sara ERRANI (ITA) def Katarzyna KAWA (POL) 6-3 6-0
Veronica CEPEDE ROYG (PAR) def Olga GOVORTSOVA (BLR) 6-4 6-1
Francesca DI LORENZO (USA) def Astra SHARMA (AUS)  6-3 6-4
Caty MCNALLY (USA)  def Emma NAVARRO (USA) 6-2 6-4
Maria Camila OSORIO SERRANO (COL) def Whitney OSUIGWE (USA) 6-3 4-6 6-0
Magdalena FRECH (POL) def Viktoriya TOMOVA (BUL) 6-2 5-2 Ret.
Renata ZARAZUA (MEX) def Usue Maitane ARCONADA (USA) 6-2 3-0 Ret.
Marta KOSTYUK (UKR)  def Marie BENOIT (BEL) 6-3 6-2
The women’s event will feature a 32-player singles qualifying draw, a 32-player singles main draw and a 16-team doubles draw. Now in its eighth year and fourth year as an W80 event, the Mercer Tennis Classic will once again feature many of the best women tennis players in the world. It is the second biggest professional tournament in the state of Georgia in terms of prize money (ATP World Tour 250 event – BB&T Atlanta Open in July, is the largest). It is also the longest running professional women’s tennis tournament in the state of Georgia. The 2019 event was showcased on the Tennis Channel.
The Mercer Tennis Classic has featured players with major titles, including 2014 Macon singles champ, Kateryna Bondarenko, of Ukraine, and her sister, Alona, who she teamed with to win the 2008 Australian Open Doubles title, and 2010 French Open singles champion Francesca Schiavone, of Italy, who was the tournament’s top seed in 2018.
The event will adhere to all government-mandated COVID-19 restrictions, including social-distancing, throughout the duration of the tournament.
Tournament volunteers are needed and any help is always appreciated. Call Mercer tennis coach and tournament director Eric Hayes at (478) 301-2269.