2023 Mercer Tennis Classic:
Townsend / Udvardy into Singles Final
MERCER UNIVERSITY - John Drew Smith Tennis Center - OCT 16 - OCT 22, 2023
USTA Pro Circuit 80K Event
MACON, Georgia, (October 21, 2023) An exciting week of professional tennis is winding down with just the singles final to play at the Mercer Tennis Classic held this week at the John Drew Smith Tennis Center in Macon.
The singles final will take place on Sunday at 2pm.
For the first time in the history of the Mercer Tennis Classic, the top four seeds have advanced to the singles semifinals. That made for a great showcase of tennis on Saturday.
Top seed Taylor Townsend is motivated to get a title in Macon and it showed with her play on Saturday. Taking on a tough out in Katie Volynets made for some great points and forced Townsend to go to her “bag of tricks.”
“She never gives up, she plays for every point,” explained Townsend. “I am trying to embrace my entire game and sometimes it’s kind of difficult. I feel confident I can execute every shot I want to hit!”
Townsend went to the dropshot and drop volley numerous times during the match, including a beautiful drop volley on matchpoint to frustrate Volynets. Townsend served at 70% for the match and converted six breakpoint opportunities.
Kayla Day, the 2016 champ in Macon took 3 hrs and 45 minutes to hold off University of Miami’s Alexa Noel on Friday. 2022 singles finalist, Panna Udvardy of Hungary spent three hours on court Friday to take out Raluca Georgiana Serban, a Romanian who now plays for Cyprus.
Something had to give. In another three-setter, this one lasting two hours and thirty minutes, Udvardy appeared the fresher of the two and outlasted Day 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
“Yesterday I played three hours,” said Udvardy. “It wasn’t easy to recover in a short amount of time. I knew I wouldn’t be my best today- and I wasn’t, but it was all mental and staying there and trying to motivate myself.”
The doubles final followed the singles semis and Jana Kolodynska/ Tatiana Prozorova defeated Sofia Sewing/ Anastasia Tikhonova 6-3, 6-2.
Townsend def. Volynets 6-3, 7-6(4)
Udvardy def. Day 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Jana Kolodynska/ Tatiana Prozorova defeated Sofia Sewing/ Anastasia Tikhonova 6-3, 6-2
On and off the court activities: Monday’s included the Volunteer’s Clinic which featured the pros hitting with and giving tips to sponsors and volunteers. High School Day, where high school kids came out all morning to watch the action.
On Wednesday, the Macon Area Tennis Association gave out its annual awards to area players and coaches.
Thursday was Youth Night, where about 100 school-aged children from Macon and the surrounding area attended.
The Mercer Tennis Classic was honored for its 10th anniversary by the USTA.
Well attended night matches each evening.
10th Anniversary. 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 - Atlanta Open in July, is the largest). It is also the longest running professional women’s tennis tournament in the state of Georgia. The event has been showcased on USTA.com and the Tennis Channel.
Tickets are available at www.ustamaconclassic.com
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.
Live streaming on USTA.com
Tournament volunteers are needed and any help is always appreciated. Call Mercer tennis coach and tournament director Eric Hayes at (478) 301-2269.