Ready, set draw, Troy

Published 9:24 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yesterday’s action, better known as “Yanni’s Day,” at the Lunsford Tennis Complex began the main draw portion of the USTA Tennis Classic of Troy. Yanni’s Steakhouse was the official sponsor of the tennis tournament on Tuesday, and there was a lot happening. There are a multitude of events coming up involving the USTA tournament and Troy head tennis coach Eric Hayes is excited about the rest of the week.

“Everything has been going well,” Hayes said. “The weather has been good, and we’re all on schedule as far as matches go.”

The attendance at the tournament has been on the rise this year too.

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“Today is the first day in six years that we ran out of chairs,” Hayes said.

Part of that can be attributed to the timing of the matches in the tournament. The timing is designed with the fans of the sport in mind.

“We have been holding matches at 4 p.m. so can people can come and watch after work,” Hayes said.

Hayes wants to see the community of tennis players and non-tennis players alike come out and enjoy watching professionals at their game.

“Our qualifying round this year was one of the strongest we’ve ever had in the tournament,” Hayes said. “One good thing about this tournament is that so many players have come through here, and then they have gone on to be in the Top-50 in the world.”

Some of the younger faces that could be the next to achieve that feat are Coco Vandeweghe and Gabriela Paz.

Both of these players made it through the qualifying rounds of the tournament and earned spots in the main draw.

The historical reference between these two is that they met in the finals of this year’s U.S. Open Jr. Championship and faced one another.

The level of talent at the tournament has been highly praised by many spectators.

Some of the upcoming events at the tournament begin today.

Goshen Elementary will take 70 kids to the complex for a tennis clinic put on by some of the players and Hayes.

“The kids will be out here all day,” Hayes said. “We’re going to teach them some things about the game. It should be a good time. It will be a pretty busy day for us here.”

The tournament will also host a Pro-Am tournament tonight at 6 p.m.

Hayes said there are still spots available if anyone would like to play in the tournament, and they should contact him at the complex as soon as possible.

“Overall everything has been going pretty good,” Hayes said. “We had a really good time on Monday night.”

Monday night was the annual player-sponsor party for the tournament, and the Johnson Center for the Arts kept their doors open late for the players, officials and visitors to see.

“The museum was really nice,” Hayes said. “Everybody loved getting to see that.”

Troy has been very accommodating for the players and officials, Hayes said.

Action starts everyday at 10 a.m. at the Lunsford Tennis Complex.