The Return of Nicole Vaidisova; Qualifying Continues @USTAMacon50K
MACON, Georgia, (October 19, 2014) Singles qualifying began on Sunday at Stratford Academy for the 2014 Tennis Classic of Macon. Tennis fans were greeted with beautiful fall weather, with temperatures in the 70s.
Former world No. 7 Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic drew most of the onlookers as she took on a top junior player from Macon in Ariadna Riley.
Vaidisova powered her way to 6-1, 6-1 victory in front of about 200 spectators which is almost unheard for a first round qualifying match at a USTA Pro Circuit event.
Vaidisova’s serve and forehand made the difference as she fired two aces and a dozen or so forehand winners in keeping Riley off balance.
Riley actually broke to start the second set, but Vaidisova upped her game and she stayed aggressive throughout the second set to close out the top ranked junior.
“It was fun and great seeing how she hits the ball,” admitted Riley after the match. She hit a really big ball and it took some getting used to; her serve was really big too.”
Riley said she tried to grind with her and just get into the points, but then Vaidisova was able to overpower her.
Other winners on Sunday included Americans, Rianna Valdes, Ashley Weinhold, Jacqueline Cako, Andie K. Daniell and Jan Abaza.
Featured matches on Monday include:
Valdes taking top top seed in qualifying Kateryna Bondarenko and Vaidisova back on the court to face qualifying No. 2 seed, Danielle Lao.
Two courts will feature qualifying action on Monday.
“It was some great tennis,” says Mercer Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach, Eric Hayes. “There are going to be some great matches and this sets us up for the rest of the week. The weather is going to be perfect and this is what we work all year for.”
This is one of the three fall events where U.S. players can earn points for the USTA’s wildcard into the first major of 2015.
You can see the qualifying draw here: http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/qualifying_draw382.PDF
Tennis Classic of Macon Fast Facts:
– There are 11 different countries represented in the qualifying draw.
– Andie K. Daniell, a junior player from Douglasville, GA won her match on Sunday. Daniell will be playing her college tennis next year at the University of Alabama.
– Danielle Lao, who will play Vaidisova on Monday, just finished playing in the doubles final at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Florence.
Additional 2014 Tennis Classic of Macon facts:
Headlining this year’s Macon 50K field is veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who defeated Venus Williams to win the WTA event in Quebec City, last month. Americans Madison Brengle and defending champ Anna Tatishvilli are also scheduled to return to Middle Georgia. Also in the field are three players with Georgia connections in Melanie Oudin, Irina Falconi and Grace Min.
Hayes says once again the tournament will host a pro-am where local tennis players can play against the pros. A “players party” will also be held this year at Twangs, a local restaurant.
Live streaming of the USTA Pro Circuit can be viewed on the USTA Pro Circuit’s website at http://www.procircuit.usta.com.