Macon USTA Pro Circuit Event Names Title Sponsor

10:10 PM, Aug 20, 2013   |    comments
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MACON, Georgia, (Mercer Release) (August. 20, 2013) - Macon is just 46 days away from professional women's tennis coming to Stratford Academy, and tennis fans in Middle Georgia couldn't be more excited. Macon will play host to some of the best women tennis players in the world October 6-13 at the Jaime Kaplan Tennis Center at Stratford Academy.


Tournament director and Mercer men's and women's tennis coach Eric Hayes is proud to announce that the Butler Automotive Group ( has signed on as title sponsor of the event that will now be called The Tennis Classic of Macon.


"We are excited to have Butler Automotive Group on board as we bring world-class tennis to Macon," states Hayes. "Marsh Butler and his whole organization have been huge supporters of tennis throughout the years."

The tournament will also benefit the Middle Georgia Tennis Foundation.


"I'm excited this event will have an impact on youth tennis in Middle Georgia," says Stratford Academy's Jaime Kaplan. "Not only financially, but as an example of what these kids can achieve in the sport of tennis."


This 25K event will draw a 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.


The players that will be participating will be released in September along with wildcards and possible participants in the qualifying tournament. As recently as two years ago, players like Americans like Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Jamie Hampton, Melanie Oudin and Varvara Lepchencko competed in events at this level.


Lepchenko reached the top-20 in 2012 after having success at 25K USTA Pro Circuit events in 2011, and Jamie Hampton is currently ranked No. 25 in the world.


"We are fortunate to have the support of the university, the city and the tennis community," adds Hayes. "But we need more volunteers. Volunteers will be needed in the following areas: transportation, housing, hospitality, facility and court maintenance."


Anyone interested in volunteering please contact Mercer Tennis Coach Eric Hayes by email at or Rick Limpert, tournament press aide at


The tournament offers $25,000 in prize money to the singles and doubles players and a 64-player qualifying tournament will take place during the opening weekend of the tournament.


About the USTA Pro Circuit

With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 33 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Mardy Fish, Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki, John Isner, Li Na and Andy Murray are among today's top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.


Jaime Kaplan Tennis Center at Stratford Academy

The Jaime Kaplan Tennis Center is the beautiful new tennis facility at Stratford Academy. The SP Design Group and Hulsey McCormick & Wallace, Inc. coordinated the design effort with the USTA and the K12

school for the concession/restroom/locker building and the eight new playing courts. In 2011, the new facility was awarded the USTA Outstanding Facility Award for site adaptation.


Butler Automotive Group

The Butler family has been in the car business for three generations, beginning back in 1933 in Alma, Georgia. In 1970 Marshall Butler bought a Toyota dealership in Macon, Georgia and over the years has grown his business to include Ford, Honda, Toyota (2), Lexus, Volkswagen, Acura, BMW (2), Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep.

Middle Georgia Tennis Foundation. The mission of the Middle Georgia Tennis Foundation is to raise funds to support tennis programs, especially youth programs in Middle Georgia.

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