MACON, Georgia, (October 6, 2013) Summer temperatures greeted players on the first day of the 2013 ButlerCars.com Tennis Classic of Macon presented by The W.L. Amos Foundation. With humidity in the air and blue skies up above qualifying 32 qualifying matches kicked off tournament play at Stratford Academy’s Jaime Kaplan Tennis Center.
Top seeded Di Zhao of China found tough going, but defeated young American Kristin Wiley 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. Former Florida All-American Lauren Embree defeated Kayla Symone Price 6-0, 6-2.
The player with possibly the largest rooting section was Natalie Pluskota of Sharpsburg, Georgia. The former Tennessee player had family and friends forming a row watching her in action, and they were able to see Natalie pull out a tough three-set win over Petra Januskova of Canada.
Also of local interest, Macon junior Ariadna Riley fell in a tough two-set match 7-5, 7-5 to former Georgia Tech player Elizabeth Kilborn and Mercer University sophomore Danielle Jones defeated Jennifer Rink 6-3, 6-1 to advance to play on Monday.
Tournament organizers we thrilled with the crowds that came out today and the fact that kept building as the day went on is a good sign.
Mercer tennis coach and tournament director Eric Hayes was thrilled with the the quality of play and the fan turnout.
“The fans that came out today saw some great tennis,” said Hayes. “We had some local players play well and we sold some weekly passes for the tournament, so we know people are coming back.”
Tickets are available at the gate at Stratford Academy.
This 25K event is mix of rising and established players looking to earn points to finish the year strongly, and in some cases, earn direct acceptance into the 2014 Australian Open.
It runs through Sunday.
*Today’s Results (winners listed first):
Starting at 09:00Di ZHAO (CHN) Kristin WILEY (USA) WSQ6-1 5-7 6-2
Starting at 09:00Yekaterina SAGITOVA (KAZ)Peeraya CHAROENSIRISUTTHIKUL (THA) WSQ6-0 5-7 6-3
Starting at 09:00Allison MILLER (USA)Spirit EDLEY (USA) WSQ6-1 6-0
Starting at 09:00Emily J. HARMAN (USA) Rhiann NEWBORN (USA) WSQ6-2 6-2
Starting at 09:00Elizabeth LUMPKIN (USA) Gail FALKENBERG (USA) WSQ6-0 6-0
Starting at 09:00Kateryna YERGINA (UKR)Angelina ZHURAVLEVA (RUS)  WSQ6-2 6-3 Starting at 09:00Natalie PLUSKOTA (USA) Petra JANUSKOVA (CAN) WSQ6-2 3-6 6-2 Starting at 09:00Natalie SUK (USA)Malika ROSE (USA) WSQ6-0 6-2
Followed bySianna SIMMONS (USA)Olivia MESSINEO (USA) WSQ6-2 6-2
Followed byMichelle SAMMONS (RSA) Saera KANDA (JPN) WSQ6-0 6-0
Followed byCaitlin WHORISKEY (USA) Khristina BLAJKEVITCH (CAN) WSQ6-4 6-0
Followed byDiana COLEN (USA)Olga ZAVAROTNAYA (BLR) WSQ6-4 6-2
Followed byMaria AVGERINOS (USA)Maria SMITH (USA) WSQ6-4 7-5
Followed byAnastasia Evgenyevna NEFEDOVA (RUS) Dewonder DAVIS (USA) WSQ6-0 6-0 Followed byLauren EMBREE (USA) Kayla Symone PRICE (USA) WSQ6-0 6-2
Followed byAmanda RODGERS (USA)Breanna Alexa Bachini BACHINI (USA) WSQ6-0 6-4
Followed byDanielle LAO (USA)Maia A. MAGILL (USA) WSQ6-1 6-1
Followed byJessica LAWRENCE (USA) Barbora VASILKOVA (SVK) WSQ6-1 6-1
Followed byEmerald ABLE (USA)Stephanie BENGSON (AUS)  WSQ6-2 6-2
Followed byMorgan JONES (USA)Jennifer RINK (GER) WSQ6-3 6-1
Followed byBrittany LASHWAY (USA)Alexus JONES (USA) WSQ6-0 6-0
Followed byAleah MARROW (USA)Valeria SALAZAR (MEX) WSQ6-3 7-5
Followed byPiia SUOMALAINEN (FIN) Ashley CANTY (USA) WSQ6-2 6-1
Followed byMari OSAKA (JPN) Madeleine KOBELT (USA) WSQ4-6 7-6(2) 6-1
Followed byElizabeth KILBORN (USA)Ariadna RILEY (USA) WSQ7-5 7-5
Followed byRosalia ALDA (USA)Tai MARTIN (USA) WSQ6-2 7-6(3)
Followed byLeila HODZIC (USA)Kassie TULENKO (USA) WSQ6-0 6-1
Followed byAnne-Liz JEUKENG (USA) Mercedes HAMMOND (USA) WSQ7-5 6-0
Followed byBrooke BRODA (USA)Mary WEATHERHOLT (USA)  WSQ6-5 Ret.
Rick Limpert is an Atlanta-based writer that covers events, sports, and technology. You can follow him on Twitter at @RickRoswell.