Georgia Tech and Georgia Players Recieve Wild Cards
Georgia Tech’s Guillermo Gomez and The University of Georgia’s Wil Spencer were granted wild cards into the qualifying draw for the 2011 Atlanta Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event that opens the Olympus US Open Series to be held July 16-24 at the Racquet Club of the South, Tournament Director Bob Bryant announced today. Representing the fiercest rivalry in Georgia, the players from Georgia's two most prestigious schools will add a special excitement for spectators throughout the Peach State attending the ATP World Tour event.
Gomez, a graduating senior at Georgia Tech and three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American from Alicante, Spain, has been ranked as high as No. 3 among collegiate tennis players. He led his Yellow Jackets, who finished the year ranked No. 13, to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Championships and finished his career as the leader in school singles victories with 119. Spencer, a rising senior from Ponce de Leon, Fla., helped his UGA Bulldogs reach the semifinals of the NCAA Championships before losing to eventual champion USC. Gomez and Spencer met previously on February 12 in a Georgia versus Georgia Tech dual meet. In that match, Gomez had the upper hand, defeating his Bulldog opponent 7-5, 6-3. These two will now battle to become the first active collegiate player to qualify for the main draw of an Olympus US Open Series event since USC’s Steve Johnson in Los Angeles in 2010.
While the players from these two universities will battle to get into the singles draw, on the doubles side, a pair of inter-state rivals, Georgia Tech’s Kevin King and Georgia’s Drake Bernstein, were granted a wildcard into the main draw of the doubles competition. King, from Peachtree City, Ga., was part of a dynamic Georgia Tech duo that took out the No. 7 and No. 1 doubles teams en route to the NCAA Doubles Championships semifinal, where they lost a tight match to the eventual champions from Texas A&M. King will pair up with UGA’s Drake Bernstein, another graduating senior from Winder, Ga., who led the team in doubles wins (27-11) with partner Wil Spencer.
"We are excited to have additional local flavor in the Atlanta Tennis Championships," said Bryant. "Between former Georgia superstar John Isner, and these four talented collegiate players representing two excellent universities, we will showcase the best tennis players with an affiliation to Georgia."
"Guillermo is an outstanding player that is dangerous at any level in tennis," said Georgia Tech coach and 2011 Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Coach of the Year, Kenny Thorne. "It will be exciting to see him represent Georgia Tech while he competes against the best players in the world at the Atlanta Tennis Championships."
"Since that meeting in February, Wil’s ranking and results have steadily improved," said UGA coach, Manuel Diaz. "He will not only pose a threat to Guillermo [Gomez], but also to any other player he might face in qualifying. I look forward to seeing him in the main draw."