About 100 players began Monday with a dream of advancing out of the USTA Southern U.S. Open National Playoffs at the Sandy Springs Tennis Center outside of Atlanta.
If you were a top junior or a D-I college player, there was a good chance you made it though to Tuesday.
The men kicked off the action Monday morning with round of 64 matches.
Georgia Tech player Nathan Rakitt of Marietta and Casey Kay, formerly of Georgia, but soon to transfer to Georgia Tech were both early winners.
They moved on to the second round which started in the afternoon with temperatures now hitting the mid 80s.
Rakitt was again victorious, but Kay fell to All-Southern Conference player Rob Galloway of Wofford. Other second round winners were top junior and Florida-signee Elliott Orkin of Marietta, Danie ven den Heever of Cumming, a finalist here last year, and Paul Stanescu who played at Piedmont College.
The women’s action was pretty compelling with SMU-signee Anna Kate Anderson outlasting Ruth Crawford in three tough sets, and Sherazad Benamar of France, who is currently playing out of Reno, Nev. and ranked No. 466 in the world defeating Nicole Johnston.
The match of the day was on Stadium Court and it ended up being a 2 hour and 50 minute marathon between former touring pro Jewel Peterson and junior player Laura Patterson of Roswell.
Patterson took the first set, but Peterson called on all of her experience to break Patterson’s serve late in the second to even the match. Patterson jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third, but in the second game the players lost track of the score and entire game had to be replayed that Peterson ended up winning, but the high school senior Patterson showed poise in holding her serve in the next game and then reeling off three more games to take a 5-1 lead before Peterson would get back on the scoreboard.
Patterson closed out the match and will take confidence into her quarterfinal match with Georgia Tech player Kendal Woodard.
Action continues Tuesday morning in Sandy Springs.
16 Phoenix Gandy d. Ana Oakley 6-4; 6-1
16 Jessica Hawk d. Kristina Mathis Wo (emerg)
16 Anna Kate Anderson d. Ruth Crawford 5-7; 6-4; 7-5
16 Allison Miller d. Trelsie Sadler Wd (emerg)
16 Kendal Woodard d. Kimberly Rodgers Def (ns)
16 Laura Patterson d. Jewel Peterson 6-3; 6-7(5); 6-2
16 Sherazad Benamar d. Nicole Johnston 6-1; 6-2
16 Whitney McCray d. Rachel May 6-0; 6-0
32 Rob Galloway d. Casey Kay 6-2; 7-5
32 Rhys Richardson d. Evan Stack 6-3; 6-4
32 Elliott Orkin d. Langford Hills 6-2; 6-3
32 Danie van den Heever d. Samuel Bullington 6-0; 6-0
32 Murphey Parker d. Brandon Knight 6-1; 6-0
32 Ben Horst d. Don Napier 6-0; 6-0
32 Paul Stanescu d. Terry Funk 6-0; 6-0
32 Garrick Sanford d. Tayler Ayers 6-1; 6-3
32 Sam Edwards d. Blake Watkins 6-0; 6-0
32 Ryan Miller d. Joey Unkenholz 3-6; 6-2; 6-4
32 Nathan Rakitt d. Danny Brown 6-0; 6-0
32 Drew Mosteller d. Ian Krpo Wo (ill)
32 Trevor Gotkowski d. Kenan Hadzic 6-0; 6-1
32 Caleb Hyatt d. Patrick Jackson 4-6; 7-6(4); 6-3
32 Kyle Craig d. Noah Cleary 6-2; 6-1
64 Casey Kay d. Parrish Preston 6-4; 6-0
64 Briton Richardson d. Hope Crawford 6-2; 6-3
64 Ben Horst d. Joel Seedman 6-0; 6-0
64 Terry Funk d. Alexander Santiago Wd (emerg)
64 Nathan Rakitt d. Noah Baker 6-1; 6-1
64 Trevor Gotkowski d. Reggie Clayton 6-1; 6-0
64 Kyle Craig d. Hunter Franklin 6-0; 6-0
The US Open National Playoffs begin as a series of sectional qualifying tournaments, held this year in 13 USTA sections. The men’s, women’s and mixed doubles champions or top available finishers from each sectional qualifying tournament advance to the US Open National Playoffs – Championships. The Men’s and Women’s Singles Championships will be held August 16-19, and the Mixed Doubles Championship are slated for August 21-24. All three events take place in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event.