TROY, Ala.– Since 2003, the best women tennis players in the world have been coming to Troy, Alabama to showcase their skills.
This year, Brian Earley, the Director of the USTA Pro Circuit and U.S. Open tournament referee will be coming to Troy for the 10th anniversary of this USTA Pro Circuit event.
Earley is expected to award those responsible for the Tennis Classic of Troy, a plaque commemorating a decade on the USTA Pro Circuit at 2pm on October 8. A short press conference will follow the ceremony.
Tennis fans know the name Brian Earley. He’s the tall and thin gentleman carrying the walkie-talkie you see at the U.S. Open making decisions when it comes to pulling the players off the court due to inclement weather. Earley began his career at the USTA in 1979 when he became a USTA Pro Circuit Supervisor. He joined the USTA Referee Staff at the US Open in 1981, becoming US Open Tournament Referee in 1993, a role he continues to fill today. In 1997 he was promoted to Director, USTA Pro Circuit. In this role, Brian is responsible for overall administration of all developmental professional tennis in this country. In addition to his work on the Pro Circuit & US Open, Brian has been the Referee for at least one Davis Cup tie per year since 1991 and has done several high–profile events, such as Australia vs. France in Sydney in 1996 and Chile vs. Slovakia in 2006.
It’s a big honor for this world-class tennis event that is held in a small college town.
“The City of Troy has been a proud sponsor and host of The USTA Women’s Tennis Classic of Troy,” stated Sheila Jackson, Director of PR and Tourism for the City of Troy. “The tournament has a huge impact on our community, the economic impact, the free clinics for the schools and the boys and girls club.”
Jackson also noted that the mayor and council of Troy are proud of this 10-year celebration and are looking forward to another great event.
Over the years, Troy has played host to such players as Americans: Christina McHale, Melanie Oudin, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Irina Falconi.
Past champions include: Rebecca Marino (CAN), Alison Riske (USA), Anna Tatishvili (GEO) and Maret Ani (EST).
Again in 2012, many of the top tennis players in the world will be in Troy for the USTA Tennis Classic of Troy, Alabama, taking place October 6-14, 2012.
“It’s another great field,” said tournament director Eric Hayes. Hayes is also the head tennis coach of the men’s and women’s teams at Troy University.
Headlining the field in 2012 are Edina Gallovits-Hall, a Romanian living in Atlanta that has been ranked as high as No. 54 in the world and has won 18 ITF Circuit titles. Slated to be the No. 2 seed is Michelle Larcher De Brito from Portugal. De Brito plays an exciting brand of tennis and has been ranked as high as No. 74 in the world.
Joining these two will be a group of young Americans looking for a title and breakthrough. These include Chi Chi Scholl, Grace Min, and Chieh-Yu Hsu.
They are hoping that they can duplicate the results posted by the two singles finalists from 2011. Last year, Romina Oprandi of Italy defeated American Varvara Lepchenko in the finals, but both used Troy as a chance to improve their rankings and move on to bigger and better things in 2012. Lepchencko is one of the most improved players on the WTA Tour and she is now ranked No. 20 in the world. Oprandi also has tasted success in 2012 and she sits at No. 64 in the rankings released on 9/24/12.
This tournament is unique in the fact that it takes place on a vibrant college campus and that it’s an event that the entire community of Troy gets behind.
“Every year we have a great field of competition from top to bottom,” stated Hayes. “We have unprecedented media coverage throughout the tournament, and I would like to thank them and our fans for putting our event on display.”
As with any USTA event, the kids are always included.
“Our kid’s clinics are always a success, and this year is no different,” boasted Hayes. “This tournament is a great boost to the economy, and we are blessed to have the USTA as a member of our community each year.”
The tournament offers $25,000 in prize money to the singles and doubles players and a 64-player qualifying tournament will take place during the opening weekend of the tournament.
Wildcards will be given out leading up to the start of the main and qualifying draws and they will join those that survive the qualifying tournament in the main draw with the 20 players that gained direct entry.
There will be a lot of tennis to be played the second week in October in Troy. Quite a few of these players have the potential to be the next stars in women’s tennis and Troy could once again be an important event on the fall tennis calendar.
2011 Final Results
Singles: Romina Oprandi (ITA) def Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-1, 6-2
Doubles: Bovina/Savinykh (RUS/RUS) d. Lepchenko/Washington (USA/USA) 7-6(6) 6-3