In tennis, playing your opponent is tough enough without any variables, but when you add in record breaking heat, it literally becomes survival of the fittest.
That is what happened on Saturday at the USTA Southern Section’s U.S. Open National Playoffs held just north of Atlanta.
Among the players posting wins on Saturday was Mary Anne Macfarlane, an All-American player from the University of Alabama.
She said this event is great for everybody.
“This gives us a great opportunity to play for a wildcard,” stated Macfarlane following her 6-0, 6-0 victory over Mary Phillips Smith of Tallahasse, FL. “I love it when I get to play someone new, and you just go to your strengths –play hard and hopefully it’s good for you that day.”
With temperatures well into triple digits, the heat was a factor, especially in the afternoon.
“It is really going to be warm, and I just need to stay hydrated and that’s all you can really do,” added Macfarlane.
Another player advancing on Saturday was former WTA player and Atlanta resident, Jewel Peterson. Peterson says this is one tournament she will never miss.
“This is a fun tournament, I’ve played it every year and it’s a great opportunity for people like me to get a taste of competition again,” smiled Peterson.
Other college players in action on Saturday were Whitney Kay, who is going to become a North Carolina Tar Heel this fall and Georgia Tech players Elizabeth Kilborn and Alexandra Anghelescu.
The play continues through Tuesday at the Lake Windward Club in Alpharetta, GA.
The US Open National Playoffs men’s and women’s singles champions earn a wild card into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which takes place one week prior to the 2012 US Open. The US Open National Playoffs mixed doubles champions receive a main draw wild card into the 2012 US Open.
The US Open National Playoffs begin as a series of sectional qualifying tournaments held in 13 USTA Sections throughout the country, including Alpharetta. The 13 men’s, women’s and mixed doubles champions from each sectional qualifying tournament will advance to the US Open National Playoffs Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles and Mixed Doubles Championship. All three tournaments will be held in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale, a US Open Series event, presented by First Niagara. The US Open National Playoffs Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles Championship will be held August 17-20. The US Open National Playoffs Mixed Doubles Championship will be held August 22-25.