Nov 1, 2023

2023 Mercer Tennis Classic:

Mercer Tennis Classic Wins USTA Georgia Award

Adult Tournament of the Year for 2023

MERCER UNIVERSITY - John Drew Smith Tennis Center - OCT 16 - OCT 22, 2023

USTA Pro Circuit 80K Event

MACON, Georgia, (November 1, 2023) The USTA Georgia has named the Mercer Tennis Classic the “Adult Tournament of the Year” for 2023 in their annual awards.

Every year, USTA Georgia recognizes the outstanding accomplishments made by tennis players, coaches, tournaments directors and other professionals across the state. USTA Georgia's annual award ceremony, which will be held in February.

The Mercer Tennis Classic and its tournament director, Eric Hayes, the Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach at Mercer, recently were honored for 10 years in Macon.

From the USTA:

Congratulations Eric Hayes and the Mercer Tennis Classic!  On behalf of USTA Georgia, I want to thank you for your service and outstanding accomplishments in our tennis community throughout 2023.  To reward this tireless effort, you are being honored as the winner of the Adult Tournament of the Year. This is quite an impressive accomplishment, and you should be proud of your success.

The 2023 Mercer Tennis Classic:

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. With the title going to Townsend 6-3, 6-4. The 2023 Mercer Tennis Classic saw record attendance and great community support.

USTA Georgia’s mission to promote and develop the growth of tennis, is only enhanced by leveraging diversity and creating an inclusive environment. We are committed to ensuring that people of all backgrounds have access to and feel authentically welcome in the game and business of tennis. 

It is with this spirit of equity and inclusion that we invite all people who play, watch, support and/or enjoy tennis to partake in our many programs, events and membership offerings through participation, volunteerism or leadership.

The Mercer Tennis Classic is known as one of the most “player friendly” tournaments on the USTA Pro Circuit. 

There are activities throughout the week for volunteers, high school players, area youth and for the first time, on Wednesday of tournament week, the Macon Area Tennis Association gave out its annual awards to area players and coaches.

The Mercer Tennis Classic continues to 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, the Tennis Channel and RadioTennis.

The tournament’s website is

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. Current world No. 5, Jessica Pegula has been a recent participant in Macon.

Recent “Adult Tournament of the Year” winners include:

USTA Atlanta Combo Doubles

Southern Fast 4

Georgia State Adult/Senior Open

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.