BB&T Atlanta Open State Team Championships

State Team Championships
Image courtesy of Scott Colson

A few days ago, I received an email from fellow Tennis Parent, Scott Colson, telling me about a new 10-and-under team event – the BB&T Atlanta Open State Team Championships – that was taking place in Atlanta as part of the BB&T Atlanta Open and asking if I could possibly come out to see the kids in action. Of course, that was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up!

Yesterday, I drove up to Lifetime Athletic & Tennis Club, a facility I have been to a million times to see my son play. It’s a gorgeous club with indoor and outdoor courts, including pickle ball courts, a pool, fitness center, cafe, and even classrooms for those academy kids wanting to participate in the virtual school program offered by certified teachers on site.

I was curious about this new U10 event being run by experienced Tournament Director Turhan Berne. When I looked on the TennisLink site, here’s what I found:

  • Mandatory check-in for the tournament will take place Friday, July 28, at 1:00 p.m. at Lifetime Athletic, 6350 Courtside Drive, Norcross, GA 30092. Players will receive a gift bag with their VIP credential, complimentary tickets, a jumbo-sized ball for autographs, and tournament information. Players must have a signed release and player conduct agreement form.
  • Friday July 28th:
  • 1:00 Check-in meet team mates and coaches
    1:30-5:30 EDC Camp Training
    7:00 Watch matches at the BB&T tournament
    Saturday July 29th:
    9:00 Team Singles matches begin
    12:00 Lunch
    1:30 Team Doubles matches begin
    4:30 Break for day
    6:00 Watch matches at BB&T tournament
    Sunday July 30th:
    10:00 Team Playoff singles matches begin
    12:30 Lunch
    2:00 Doubles matches begin
    3:30 Conclusion of Play and awards presented
    5:00 Watch Singles final of BB&T Atlanta Open
  • PARTICIPATING STATES
    Alabama
    Georgia
    Mississippi
    South Carolina
    Tennessee
  • MATCH FORMAT
  • Each team match will consist of the following:
    3 boys singles matches
    3 girls singles matches
    1 boys doubles match
    1 girls doubles match
    1 mixed doubles match
  • SCORING FORMAT
    For singles, scoring shall be the best of two short sets (first to four (4) and win by two), with a set tiebreak (first to seven (7) and win by two) at 4-4 in each set, and a set tiebreak (first to seven (7) and win by two) for the third set. Doubles matches for 10 and under tournament play shall consist of a regular six (6) game set, with a set tiebreak (first to seven (7) and win by two) at 6-6. No-ad scoring will be used during all matches.

Some of the players also had the opportunity to come in a day early and meet with Dr. Neeru Jayanthi for evaluation. Dr. J works closely with the junior tennis program at Lifetime and is in the midst of a long-term study of injury in junior tennis players. He put the State Team Championships players through an extensive evaluation that tested their flexibility, agility, and stroke analysis. He also spent time with the parents to identify points of concern for future injury and will be sharing that information with the individual coaches. Dr. J even came back out to the event yesterday afternoon to watch the kids compete and offer further insights. According to Tennis Parent Scott Colson, “We plan to continue checking in with Dr. J periodically to monitor [our son’s] progress. Dr. J runs an amazing program and is highly recommended.”

Back to the event itself . . . I love the idea of bringing our youngest players from neighboring states together to train and compete with their own coaches as well as other USTA coaches on hand to help. I also love the idea of pairing the event with a pro tournament so the kids can, as Wayne Bryan loves to say, “take it in through their eyes and ears.” Y’all know how I feel about short sets and no-ad scoring, so I won’t comment on that again. The cherry on top of this particular team event was that BB&T Atlanta Open Quarterfinalist and Georgia Tech rising senior Chris Eubanks came out to visit with the kids yesterday morning, giving them a chance to ask him questions and take photos. How cool!

But, instead of just hearing my take on the State Team Championships, watch my Facebook Live video and hear from some of the parents themselves (click on the Full Screen option to enable the audio):

 

BB&T ATLANTA OPEN RESULTS – JULY 29, 2017

Men’s Singles – Semifinals

[2] J. Isner (USA) d [3] G. Muller (LUX) 6-4 6-2
[4] R. Harrison (USA) d [5] K. Edmund (GBR) 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4

Men’s Doubles – Semifinals

[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [PR] J. Millman (AUS) / Sa. Ratiwatana (THA) 6-2 6-3
W. Koolhof (NED) / A. Sitak (NZL) d [4] P. Raja (IND) / D. Sharan (IND) 7-6(3) 6-4

ORDER OF PLAY – SUNDAY, JULY 30, 2017

STADIUM COURT start 5:00 pm

[4] R. Harrison (USA) vs [2] J. Isner (USA)
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) or [PR] J. Millman (AUS) / Sa. Ratiwatana (THA) vs W. Koolhof (NED) / A. Sitak (NZL)

Tickets available at www.bbtatlantaopen.com

Only 2 More Days at the BB&T Atlanta Open

Atlanta OpenFriday was another great day of tennis at the BB&T Atlanta Open – Quarterfinal Day did not disappoint, even though we had a short rain delay in the first set of the first singles match of the day.

Tommy Paul came out swinging in his match versus tour veteran and Rafa-Slayer Gilles Muller, holding his own through the first few games. But, then the Weather Gods decided we all needed a little break to grab a bite to eat and do a little shopping around Atlantic Station, and when the match resumed, Tommy didn’t have quite the same firepower.

Muller went on a rampage, showing why he’s had so much success this summer. To Tommy’s credit, he kept a very positive attitude out there and battled through to the bitter end. USTA coaches Diego Moyano and Brian Boland remained

Diego Moyano & Brian Boland

positive as well, encouraging Tommy to keep going for his shots. They both seemed pleased with their young charge’s performance against the veteran Muller, pow-wowing throughout the match about what to work on moving forward.

Next up was former Georgia Bulldog and 3-time Atlanta Champion John Isner who always has tons of support at this event. As he came on court, you could hear the fans Woof-ing at the Big Dawg, which John acknowledged with a big smile and waves to the crowd.

Even though there was only one break of serve by Isner in each set, he never seem too bothered by Lacko and went about his business in less time than it takes to drive from Atlanta to Athens. Isner did face a break point in the first set. “Yea dangit that was a horrible service performance today [laughing]. No I served well. He was for a good portion of the match on me a little bit. He returned well. He takes the return early, and he hit quite a few good returns quick and right at my feet. I stayed calm at that breakpoint; hit a great serve, hit three great serves. Got out of dodge there and then was able to play a great game at 5 all to win the first set.”

The third quarterfinal of the day was perhaps the most anticipated: 25-year-old Louisiana native Ryan Harrison versus 21-year-old Atlanta native (and rising Georgia Tech senior) Chris Eubanks. Chris has had a dream run this week, using his Wildcard to its full advantage while taking out fellow NextGen players Taylor Fritz and Jared Donaldson in the first two rounds. Ryan Harrison proved too tough for the Yellowjacket, cruising to an early 5-0 lead in the first set before Chris finally held serve to get on the scoreboard. Harrison held to close out the first set 6-1 then kept his foot on the gas throughout the second set to win it 6-2.

At the end of the match, the announcer handed Chris the mic so he could talk to the very supportive crowd. He was very gracious, thanking everyone for their support, acknowledging that this was a great experience for him and gave him a chance to see what he needs to work on as he finishes up at GA Tech and prepares for life on the pro tour.

Ryan was complimentary of Chris’s play. “Chris was pretty aggressive early, and he was making a few errors,” explained Harrison. “So I was trying to focus on keeping my first serve percentage up. I know he’s got big weapons, especially with that forehand. I thought if I made first serves it would be difficult for him to control the point with it. I was really emphasizing on trying to make those. Then just you know I usually do a good job of making a lot of balls back and kind of putting that extra ball back in the court.”

The last Quarterfinal match pitted top-seeded Jack Sock against UK standout Kyle Edmund. Edmund, the twenty-two-year-old British star and Davis Cup player, seemed ready for aggressive play from Sock. He remained steady with his serve and returned the firepower with fire of his own, to come out on top. After winning the first set 6-4, Edmund took advantage of a weakened Sock – who requested a medical timeout but never seemed to recover fully despite massive crowd support – and dominated the second set, which ended quickly at 6-1.

RESULTS – JULY 28, 2017

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals

[3] G. Muller (LUX) d [Q] T. Paul (USA) 6-3 6-1
[2] J. Isner (USA) d L. Lacko (SVK) 7-5 6-4
[4] R. Harrison (USA) d [WC] C. Eubanks (USA) 6-1 6-2
[5] K. Edmund (GBR) d [1] J. Sock (USA) 6-4 6-1

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals

[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d H. Chung (KOR) / J. Nedunchezhiyan (IND) 6-1 6-2

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, JULY 29, 2017

STADIUM COURT start 12:00 noon

[4] P. Raja (IND) / D. Sharan (IND) vs W. Koolhof (NED) / A. Sitak (NZL)

Not Before 3:00 pm

[3] G. Muller (LUX) vs [2] J. Isner (USA)

Not Before 7:00 pm

[5] K. Edmund (GBR) vs [4] R. Harrison (USA)
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs [PR] J. Millman (AUS) / Sa. Ratiwatana (THA)

AJC GRANDSTAND start 12:00 noon

ALTA AA-3 CITY FINALS MIXED DOUBLES

Tickets available at www.bbtatlantaopen.com

Quarterfinal Day at the BB&T Atlanta Open

Chris Eubanks

Georgia Tech rising senior Chris Eubanks looked cool, calm, and collected in the photo above, taken during his Player Chat with Wayne Bryan on Wednesday afternoon. I’m guessing he was feeling a little less cool during last night’s Round of 16 match versus fellow NextGen’er Jared  Donaldson!

Click here for my recent podcast interview with Chris

The 21-year-old Atlanta native stayed calm enough to fight through a one-hour and 46-minute battle with his 20-year-old opponent, winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to move into today’s Quarterfinal round where he will face his 3rd American opponent this week, Ryan Harrison, the oldest of the bunch at the ripe ol’ age of 25. So far, Eubanks has defeated two of his young compatriots and hopes to make it three later today. “I really don’t know if I could do this in any place but Atlanta,” Eubanks exclaimed after last night’s victory. With his Georgia Tech coach, Kenny Thorne, in the stands, Chris represented his college and his hometown with grit and grace. We can certainly expect to see more of the same this afternoon.

Chris Eubanks

Chris Eubanks isn’t the only young player in today’s Quarterfinal round. Twenty-year-old Tommy Paul, who won the French Open Juniors in 2015 then turned pro shortly afterward, will face ATP veteran and Wimbledon Quarterfinalist, Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, to kick off the day at Atlantic Station.

Tommy spent some time chatting with Wayne Bryan yesterday (click on the Full Screen option below to enable sound):

I haven’t seen today’s schedule of Player Chats, but I will plan to do another Facebook Live session if possible, so be sure you’re following the ParentingAces page here to get notifications.

In addition to all the tennis happening on the grounds, there are also some fun activities OFF the courts. In Atlantic Station’s Central Park, USTA Atlanta and Wilson Tennis have set up the Family Zone where they are holding clinics and opportunities to try the game for young players as part of the NetGeneration initiative. In addition to the official tournament store, several sponsors and vendors have booths inside the tournament venue with samples and prizes for visitors. There is also an Interactive Zone where fans can shoot hoops or track their serve speed.  And, of course, there’s the Music Stage where Wayne Bryan is conducting daily Q&As with the pros and where fans can meet them and get autographs. There’s something for everyone at this year’s event.

RESULTS – JULY 27, 2017

Men’s Singles – Second Round

[1] J. Sock (USA) d D. Sela (ISR) 6-4 6-3
[4] R. Harrison (USA) d [PR] J. Millman (AUS) 6-7(2) 7-6(4) 7-5
[5] K. Edmund (GBR) d P. Gojowczyk (GER) 2-6 6-4 7-5
[WC] C. Eubanks (USA) d [8] J. Donaldson (USA) 6-4 4-6 6-2

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals

[PR] J. Millman (AUS) / Sa. Ratiwatana (THA) d A. Qureshi (PAK) / So. Ratiwatana (THA) 6-2 6-4
W. Koolhof (NED) / A. Sitak (NZL) d A. Molteni (ARG) / A. Shamasdin (CAN) 6-7(7) 7-6(4) 10-7

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, JULY 28, 2017

STADIUM COURT start 12:00 noon

[Q] T. Paul (USA) vs [3] G. Muller (LUX)

Not Before 2:00 pm

L. Lacko (SVK) vs [2] J. Isner (USA)
[4] R. Harrison (USA) vs [WC] C. Eubanks (USA)

Not Before 8:00 pm

[1] J. Sock (USA) vs [5] K. Edmund (GBR)
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs H. Chung (KOR) / J. Nedunchezhiyan (IND)

AJC GRANDSTAND start 2:00 pm

Local Pro League Finals

Coca-Cola Fireworks show at Sundown

Tickets available at www.bbtatlantaopen.com

 

College Night A Big Success for Chris Eubanks

Chris Eubanks
Photo courtesy of Bill Kallenberg Captured in Action Photography

College night even became more special for Georgia Tech rising senior, Chris Eubanks, as he earned his first ATP World Tour main draw win on Tuesday in his hometown of Atlanta. It was a Tuesday evening that seemed like any other, but those at Stadium Court at the BB&T Atlanta Open witnessed what could be the turning point for a local tennis phenom. In the scorching heat of a summer evening, and among an arsenal of Georgia Tech fans and students, Christopher Eubanks notched his first BB&T Atlanta Open Tournament win 7-6(5) 6-4, against American Taylor Fritz, ranked 125 on the ATP Tour and considered one of the top players in the US’s NextGen.

Eubanks, a two-time ACC player of the year and two time All-American is no stranger to success at the college level. He has done nothing but dominate the competition while harnessing his gigantic swing. He has been a force on the college level, and now he has his sights set on the ATP World Tour.

Two years ago at the 2015 BB&T Atlanta Open, Eubanks lost in straight sets to Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek. The following year, Eubanks showed more promise, as he was able to win two qualifying matches, but eventually fell to fellow American Reilly Opelka.

The match between Eubanks and Fritz had the makings of a classic three set marathon. The first set would have both player holding serve to force a decisive tiebreak. Eubanks tightened his play and pulled ahead quickly to a 6-2 lead in the tiebreak. Fritz dug deep but was unable to make up the ground needed as Eubanks took the set 7-6(5). The second set started much like the first as each player held serve. It wasn’t until the fifth game of the second set that Eubanks was able muscle through to take the first break of the match. That was all Eubanks needed to put his foot on the gas and take the set 6-4.

Thursday evening, Eubanks will be back on court. Armed with a powerful service game that can give any one trouble and a massive forehand, Eubanks showed why is he poised to make waves in this year’s tournament as well as in the professional ranks.

Hispanic Outreach Clinic

Children from the Agape Family Center, 43 in all, participated in the 2017 Hispanic Outreach Clinic at Central Park in Atlantic Station. The event was part of the USTA Net Generation initiative, which encourages youth participation in tennis. Throughout the morning, kids were allowed to play on youth sized courts with local coaches, including Kennesaw State University men’s and women’s head coach, Eduardo Rincon. ATP World Tour player, Ernesto Escobedo also participated.

This was Rincon’s third year working with this event. He enjoys the opportunity to interact with the next generation of tennis. “I feel like tennis has given me so much that I have to somehow give back.”

RESULTS – JULY 25, 2017

Men’s Singles – First Round

[5] K. Edmund (GBR) d M. Baghdatis (CYP) 6-3 7-5
[6] D. Young (USA) d [Q] T. Smyczek (USA) 6-4 6-2
D. Sela (ISR) d K. Kravchuk (RUS) 7-5 6-2
P. Gojowczyk (GER) d G. Pella (ARG) 4-6 6-3 7-6(5)
[PR] J. Millman (AUS) d F. Tiafoe (USA) 5-7 6-4 7-6(5)
[WC] C. Eubanks (USA) d [WC] T. Fritz (USA) 7-6(5) 6-4
M. Jaziri (TUN) d [WC] R. Opelka (USA) 5-7 7-6(14) 6-1
V. Pospisil (CAN) d B. Fratangelo (USA) 7-5 4-6 7-6(3)

Men’s Doubles – First Round

[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d M. Reid (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) 4-6 6-4 10-7
A. Qureshi (PAK) / So. Ratiwatana (THA) d [3] N. Monroe (USA) / D. Young (USA) 1-6 7-6(9) 10-5
W. Koolhof (NED) / A. Sitak (NZL) d [WC] J. Cox (USA) / E. Reinberg (USA) 6-2 3-6 10-6

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 2017

STADIUM COURT start 12:00 noon

[Q] T. Paul (USA) vs M. Jaziri (TUN)
[Q] Q. Halys (FRA) vs [3] G. Muller (LUX)
[6] D. Young (USA) vs L. Lacko (SVK)

Not Before 6:00 pm

V. Pospisil (CAN) vs [2] J. Isner (USA)

Not Before 8:00 pm

S. Gonzalez (MEX) / S. Lipsky (USA) vs [4] P. Raja (IND) / D. Sharan (IND)

AJC GRANDSTAND start 1:00 pm

A. Molteni (ARG) / A. Shamasdin (CAN) vs [2] R. Harrison (USA) / M. Venus (NZL)

Not Before 5:00 pm

H. Chung (KOR) / J. Nedunchezhiyan (IND) vs [WC] E. Sock (USA) / J. Sock (USA)

Tickets available at www.bbtatlantaopen.com

Semifinal Day at the BB&T Atlanta Open

Photo credit to Alex Smith
Photo credit to Alex Smith

 

The following was provided by Rick Limpert, Media Director at the BB&T Atlanta Open:

At the start of Friday’s quarterfinal matches an all-American-stacked top half of the draw guaranteed that an American will reach the final on Sunday. In the six years of the BB&T Atlanta Open, Americans have swept all six titles. The four Americans battle for a chance to continue the streak is between 18-year-old wild card Reilly Opelka, Atlanta resident Donald Young, 18-year-old Taylor Fritz, and three-time champion John Isner. Fritz is the youngest Atlanta quarter-finalist in tournament history at 18 years, 9 months. This is the first time two 18-year-old Americans have reached the quarter-finals of an ATP World Tour tournament since Los Angeles in 1990 when Michael Chang reached the final and Pete Sampras advanced to the semi-finals.

History was again made on Friday as Opelka continued his run and pulled another upset. It’s not often a player ranked over 800 in the world makes a run at an ATP World Tour event. This time the victim was hometown favorite and seventh-seeded Donald Young.The hard-hitting Opelka played with a strong presence at the net and a purpose in winning 6-4, 6-4.

Opelka started quickly with a break in the first game. A clearly irritated Young failed to counter Opelka’s break as he struggled with Opelka’s serve.

Opelka continued the hot play and big serving converting a breakpoint in the fifth game and delivered six aces in the second set to walk off the court with yet another big win.

Earlier in the week, Opelka earned his first ATP victory against Georgia Tech player Chris Eubanks in the first round and continued the streak with an upset over third-seeded Kevin Anderson in the

Opelka’s next opponent, three-time defending champ, John Isner.

manny tweet

Isner stepped onto the stadium court Friday night riding an impressive streak here in Atlanta. He had won 13 consecutive matches and is 21-3 overall at the BB&T. This match against Fritz would not be easy.

In the first set, Isner had a couple of early break chances but wasn’t able to convert until the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Fritz fought hard, but he couldn’t gain any traction on the Isner serve. Isner totalled 12 aces in the opener.

Come the second set, Fritz appeared to have issues with his right shoulder, getting visited by the trainer on two changeovers. Isner didn’t let up and continued to use his strong serve. He went up 4-3 on a break and then finished with an ace on match point to finish off Fritz 7-5, 6-4.

“It’s encouraging for me to win matches in straight sets, no tiebreakers,” said Isner. “I’ve played a lot of tiebreakers in my career. I feel like I’m playing well from the back of the court and I’m returning well also.”

Isner advances to his seventh consecutive semifinal in Atlanta.

“I’m just comfortable here. I enjoy being here … If I could play every tournament here in Atlanta I could be number one!”

In the bottom half of the draw, rising Japanese star, Yoshihito Nishioka, earned early breaks in each set to close out Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 6-4 in just over an hour. It’s Nishioka’s first ATP World Tour semifinal and he’s ready.

“I’m so excited for that,” said the world No. 97. “The first was a lot as I was out on the court three hours for singles and then doubles, so I was a bit tired. Today it was just an hour, so I’ll be able to recover.”

Spanish star, Fernando Verdasco, fell to second-seeded Australian Nick Kyrgios 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-3 in their quarterfinal match on Friday afternoon. Verdasco struggled to keep up with the Kyrgios serve as he totaled 18 aces and numerous service winners in the match that lasted just under two hours.

“I came out (feeling) real good. I wanted to get up on him early,” admitted Kyrgios.

Kyrgios took the first set by securing a break in the third game with an ace and after that he spent time engaging the fans, talking to his opponent and trying to speed up play.

They both traded holds leading up to a tiebreaker where Kyrgios fell victim to Verdasco’s strong and accurate groundstrokes. Kyrgios came out quickly in the third set, winning 80% of his service points and outlasting Verdasco from the backcourt to take the match.

On playing Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan in the semifinal on Saturday.

“We are the same age, I grew up playing juniors with him. He’s transitioned well and has a great future ahead of him.”

RESULTS – AUGUST 05, 2016

Singles – Quarterfinals

[1] J. Isner (USA) d [8] T. Fritz (USA) 75 64

[2] N. Kyrgios (AUS) d [5] F. Verdasco (ESP) 64 67(5) 63

[WC] R. Opelka (USA) d [7] D. Young (USA) 64 64

Y. Nishioka (JPN) d H. Zeballos (ARG) 64 64

Doubles – Quarterfinals

J. Brunstrom (SWE) / A. Siljestrom (SWE) d N. Monroe (USA) / A. Sitak (NZL) 67(6) 64 11-9

A. Molteni (ARG) / H. Zeballos (ARG) d [WC] C. Eubanks (USA) / Z. Kennedy (USA) 75 75

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, AUGUST 06, 2016

STADIUM COURT start 12:00 noon

P. Raja (IND) / D. Sharan (IND) vs A. Molteni (ARG) / H. Zeballos (ARG)

Not Before 3:00 pm

Y. Nishioka (JPN) vs [2] N. Kyrgios (AUS)

Not Before 7:00 pm

[1] J. Isner (USA) vs [WC] R. Opelka (USA)

M. Demoliner (BRA) / G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs J. Brunstrom (SWE) / A. Siljestrom (SWE)

American Young Guns On Court Today

bbt skylineToday marks the first day of the Main Draw for the BB&T Atlanta Open, and we’ll have several Young Guns competing for a spot in Round 2!

First up will be Jared Donaldson taking on big-serving Aussie Sam Groth. Jared took a non-traditional route in his junior years, foregoing many of the USTA tournaments to develop his game in South America, which seems to be paying off in spades now that he’s on the pro tour. The 19-year-old is currently ranked 123 in the world which gives him direct entry into many of the ATP events. I haven’t seen him play since last summer, so I’m really looking forward to today’s match!

The other Young Gun match of the day will be qualifier Chris Eubanks (click here to read about Chris’s road to the Main Draw) taking on 18-year-old Reilly Opelka (ranked 556). This one will be a battle of the big serve-big forehand style of play as both guys are REALLY TALL and have REALLY BIG strokes! Chris stands at 6’7″ while Reilly clocks in at 6’11’ which definitely gives them both some extra pop when they step up to the service line. These two have followed very different paths with their tennis, Chris choosing to go the college route (he’s a rising junior at Georgia Tech) while Reilly went straight from juniors to the pro tour.

I’ll be out at the tournament most of the day and evening – you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram for periodic updates throughout the week. Also, be sure to follow the tournament itself on social media: @BBTatlantaopen. If you’re out at Atlantic Station, please come find me and say hello!

Here is a complete list of yesterday’s results and today’s schedule of play:

Qualifying Singles – Second Round

Qualifying – [WC] C. Eubanks (USA) d [1] T. Monteiro (BRA) 64 75

Qualifying – [7] J. Smith (AUS) d [2] T. Kamke (GER) 76(4) 63

Qualifying – [3] A. Krajicek (USA) d [5] J. Duckworth (AUS) 36 76(5) 76(5)

Qualifying – [4] M. Zverev (GER) d N. Meister (USA) 76(5) 75

ORDER OF PLAY – MONDAY, AUGUST 01, 2016

STADIUM COURT start 12:00 noon

[LL] T. Monteiro (BRA) vs T. Smyczek (USA)

S. Groth (AUS) vs [WC] J. Donaldson (USA)

Not Before 4:00 pm

[Q] A. Krajicek (USA) vs [7] D. Young (USA)

Not Before 6:00 pm

[Q] C. Eubanks (USA) vs [WC] R. Opelka (USA)

A. Dolgopolov (UKR) / S. Stakhovsky (UKR) vs [WC] J. Frawley (AUS) / N. Kyrgios (AUS)

AJC GRANDSTAND COURT start 2:00 pm

T. Kamke (GER) / D. Lajovic (SRB) vs M. Demoliner (BRA) / G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP)

A. Mannarino (FRA) vs [Q] M. Zverev (GER)

It Was A Big Day For Chris

Photo courtesy of GA Tech website
Photo courtesy of GA Tech website

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to watch 3 Young Guns battle it out for a spot in the main draw of the BB&T Atlanta Open. What an opportunity for these young players and what fun to be there seeing the future of tennis!

The first match of the day was Tobias Kamke, a 30-year-old veteran from Germany, vs. the 18-year-old American Michael Mmoh who is slated to play Kalamazoo next week. Both players held serve for the first 8 games with Kamke having several opportunities to break while Mmoh never seemed to get a good handle on the Kamke serve. Kamke finally did get the break to go up 5-4 and served out the first set, winning it 6-4.

The second set was all Kamke as he went up 4-0 before Mmoh finally held in the 5th game. Even though he had an uphill battle ahead of him, Mmoh stayed very calm and collected, going after his serve and big groundstrokes. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, and Kamke took the 2nd set 6-2, moving on to the 2nd and final round of qualies.

The next match was 22-year-old Brazilian Thiago Monteiro vs. 16-year-old local Trent Bryde who received a wildcard into the qualifying tournament after winning last year’s Wildcard Playoff. Bryde is also slated to play in Kalamazoo next week. The Georgia native definitely had the crowd on his side given that his entire family, Lifetime Fitness players and coaches, and local friends were all out in force! Unfortunately, though, that wasn’t enough as the more experienced lefty Monteiro capitalized on too many errors from Bryde, running away with the first set 6-0.

At 1-0 Monteiro in the 2nd set, the rain came, and play was halted for over an hour. Bryde’s mom, Kathi, felt the rain would be to her son’s advantage since he could take a breath and get some advice from his team of coaches during the break. Once the players restarted, it seemed that Kathi was right – Bryde held serve, staying with Monteiro through the first 5 games. At that point, though, Monteiro broke and held to go up 5-2. After the side change, Bryde decided to pick up a different racquet as he served to stay in the match. One of his buddies yelled from the stand, “That’s my doubles partner!” as the players walked back on court. During that final game, Bryde’s serve just wasn’t working for him, and he double-faulted the last two points, giving Monteiro the win 6-0 6-2.

The rain held off just long enough for the 3rd match to run its course, and it was the one that had me and many of the fans most excited: 2015 Junior French Open champion Tommy Paul vs. GA Tech rising junior Chris Eubanks. Some of you may remember that Paul had committed to play college tennis at UGA before making the decision early last summer to turn pro instead.

After losing his serve in the first game of the match, Eubanks went on a roll, cruising to a quick 5-2 lead. Paul was up to serve, but Eubanks proved too strong, hitting a scorching inside-out forehand to break and take the first set 6-2.

The 2nd set started with an early Paul break of serve to go up 2-1, consolidating the break and holding for a 3-1 lead then breaking a second time to go up 4-1. At that point, it really looked like the match was going 3 sets. However, Eubanks recouped one of the breaks then held with some huge serving to bring the set back into his reach. Eubanks broke again, tying things up at 4 a piece, then held at love to take the lead for the first time in the set. Paul came on strong, also holding at love to even the score at 5-5. A third love hold, this time by Eubanks, gave him the lead again, forcing Paul to hold in order to stay in the match. A big forehand return by Eubanks gave him the early advantage, but Paul quickly evened the score after a forehand error from Eubanks. That was short-lived, though, after a Paul double fault and backhand error gave Eubanks 2 match points. Staying focused, Paul served an ace to stave off the first match point, but Eubanks drew the error off the Paul forehand in the next point to take the match 6-2 7-5. He will face Thiago Monteiro today, with the winner moving into the Main Draw.

Here are the rest of Saturday’s results plus the order of play for today:

RESULTS – JULY 30, 2016

Qualifying Singles – First Round

Qualifying – [1] T. Monteiro (BRA) d [WC] T. Bryde (USA) 60 62

Qualifying – [2] T. Kamke (GER) d M. Mmoh (USA) 64 62

Qualifying – [3] A. Krajicek (USA) d L. Glasspool (GBR) 76(6) 46 64

Qualifying – [4] M. Zverev (GER) d M. Reid (AUS) 64 62

Qualifying – [5] J. Duckworth (AUS) d J. Londero (ARG) 62 62

Qualifying – [WC] C. Eubanks (USA) d [6] T. Paul (USA) 62 75

Qualifying – [7] J. Smith (AUS) d A. Carter (USA) 63 63

Qualifying – N. Meister (USA) d [8] A. Sarkissian (USA) 57 63 64

ORDER OF PLAY – SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2016

STADIUM COURT start 11:00 am

Qualifying – [1] T. Monteiro (BRA) vs [WC] C. Eubanks (USA)

Not Before 12:30 pm

Qualifying – [4] M. Zverev (GER) vs N. Meister (USA)

Not Before 7:30 pm

Exhibition Match – J. McEnroe (USA) vs S. Bruguera (ESP)

AJC GRANDSTAND COURT start 11:00 am

Qualifying – [2] T. Kamke (GER) vs [7] J. Smith (AUS)

Not Before 1:30 pm

Qualifying – [3] A. Krajicek (USA) vs [5] J. Duckworth (AUS)