2023 Mercer Tennis Classic:
Townsend Takes Singles Title
Record Attendance for the Week
MERCER UNIVERSITY - John Drew Smith Tennis Center - OCT 16 - OCT 22, 2023
USTA Pro Circuit 80K Event
MACON, Georgia, (October 21, 2023) An inspiring week of professional tennis concluded on Sunday at the Mercer Tennis Classic held this week at the John Drew Smith Tennis Center in Macon. Record crowds and lots of interest in and around Macon.
It was the No. 1 seed vs. No. 4 seed in the singles final.
For the first time in the history of the Mercer Tennis Classic, the top four seeds advanced to the singles semifinals. That left Taylor Townsend vs. Panna Udvardy for the coveted singles title in Macon.
Top seed Taylor Townsend is loving her week in Macon, a city she has played in many times, even as a junior. She’s also found momentum in each set along the way this week to close out sets. More of the same in the opener against Udvardy. While the Hungarian earned an early break, Townsend won a long game at 2-3 to even the opener and then rode her serves and returns, frustrating an often off-balance Udvardy. 6-3 Townsend.
Townsend went to the power game to start the second set and it paid off with two service breaks. Udvardy altered her game; taking pace off the groundstrokes and throwing in some lobs. It didn’t matter, she couldn’t break Townsend, who was service at 65% for the match.
Townsend 6-3, 6-4.
“I was able to enjoy myself and keep my focus,” said Townsend. “She’s a tough player and luckily I was able to play my best. This is so big for me. To be able to finish the year in the top10 in doubles and the top-100 in singles.”
Saturday’s doubles final followed the singles semis and Jana Kolodynska/ Tatiana Prozorova defeated Sofia Sewing/ Anastasia Tikhonova 6-3, 6-2.
Townsend def. Udvardy 6-3, 6-4.
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.
About the John Drew Smith Tennis Center
The John Drew Smith Tennis Center (JDSTC) is regarded as one of the top 25 public municipal facilities in the nation by Tennis Magazine and the United States Tennis Association. It has 22 tennis courts, 6 pickleball courts, a beautiful observation deck and pro shop. The facility is a haven for programming for juniors, adults, and everyone in the community. Historic John Drew Smith Tennis Center is renowned for hosting local, state, and national tennis events. Tennis players not only from the state of Georgia but all over the country, are familiar with JDS. Almost every competitive junior player from the state of Georgia in the last 40 years has played at this renowned facility. The activity is so extensive and the atmosphere is so conducive to tennis that, in 2005, Racquet Sports Industry (RSI) named John Drew Smith Tennis Center the Municipal Facility of the Year.
About the USTA Pro Circuit
With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $15,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit in 1979 to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Victoria Azarenka, Eugenie Bouchard, John Isner, Madison Keys, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Sam Querrey and Caroline Wozniacki are among today's top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.