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Tennis classic begins next week

Starting next week, the seventh annual USTA Tennis Classic of Troy will take place at the Lunsford Tennis Complex on Troy University’s campus.

The classic is a Pro Circuit and will play host to some of the game’s top young and up and coming talent.

“This is a place where some of the top young talent across the world come to play,” head tennis coach and director of the classic, Eric Hayes, said.

Last year at the classic, then 16-year-old Melanie Oudin was ranked around 200 according to the USTA rankings, and advanced to the semifinals.

During the 2009 U.S. Open, which took place at the end of August, Oudin advanced all the way to the quarterfinals, defeating three highly ranked players.

“This is a great opportunity for players to get some matches in, make some money and help their rankings out,” Hayes said.

The classic itself is made up of 32 players, 22 of which have a direct entrance while eight others have to win their way in through qualifying matches, which take place before the classic begins.

Players competing will come from all-around the world, from Europe to Austrailia.

The classic itself will begin on Oct. 6 and run all the way through Oct. 11 with the winner getting $50,000.

The matches will begin around 10 a.m. and end around 5 p.m.

The tennis complex itself will be fixed up to meet Pro Circuit standards, including player and official locker rooms as well as a village area for both.

During that time, there will be tennis clinics going on in and around the community and the semifinal and final matches will be broadcast on the Internet by radiotennis.com.

“The city and the and the university both receive great exposure when the classic comes into town,” Hayes said.

The classic itself it a big economic boost for the community and for the players [on the university’s team] it is a great opportunity for them to see some really good tennis in person.”

As the director of the event, Hayes is responsible for everything – from getting the players to and from the complex to making sure the officials are fed.

“It would be impossible to make this classic happen without the city,” Hayes said.

“Mayer Jimmy Lunsford is unbelievably supportive.

“We get some many volunteers from the all throughout the city and the recreation center, they all really allow us to do this and make it successful.

“I think this is something that is very important to Troy,” he added.

For anyone interested, the classic has its own website at www.TroyUSTA.com.