Gard is Last Man Standing in BB&T Atlanta Open Wildcard Challenge
Earns spot the qualifying draw of the BB&T Atlanta Open
ATLANTA, July 19, 2017 – Former touring professional, Catalin Gard, was the last man is standing as the 2017 BB&T Atlanta Open Wildcard Challenge came to a close on Wednesday at Atlantic Station. Gard defeated recent local high school graduate, Aleks Huryn, in three sets to receive a wildcard into the qualifying draw, that begins on Saturday.
Gard hopes that this year’s appearance in the qualifying will end with a ticket into the main draw, as Chris Eubanks did last year. Gard has competed in qualifying rounds of the tournament three times previously but has always fallen short of the main draw.
The Romanian had a slow start to the day, dropping the first straight five games to Penn-bound Huryn. Gard was able to claw his way back to make it a 5-4 contest late in the first set as he found his groove. Huryn turned up the volume on his serve and tried a new strategy to catch the veteran off-guard, by closing the first set out with a big serve and volley.
Entering the second set with a burst of energy, Gard began to put up a fight. Refusing to go down easy, the rallies became longer and the errors became fewer for Gard for the duration of the set. Though Huryn was able to break Gard in the first game, Gard responded by breaking back and then winning six straight games in quick fashion for a set score of 6-1.
Continuing his momentum into the deciding set, a determined Gard exhibited patience through more extended rallies. A frustrated Huryn was unable to hold off as Gard became more consistent. Huryn never found the range in the final set and Gard cruised to a final match score of 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.
"It is always exciting to see a player emerge from our local tennis centers and get a chance to compete in the BB&T Atlanta Open qualifying draw,” stated Eddie Gonzalez, BB&T Atlanta Open Tournament Director. “Last year, Chris Eubanks came through seven matches in the Wildcard Challenge and then two matches in the singles qualifying draw to earn a spot in the main draw of an ATP World Tour 250 event.”
Wednesday, July 19 - Result
Catalin Gard def. Aleks Huryn 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 *
*Earns a spot in BB&T Atlanta Open Qualifying Draw
The BB&T Atlanta Open has welcomed over 280,000 fans to Atlantic Station over the past seven years, establishing itself as one of the top ATP Tour tennis events in the US. Tickets for the 2017 BB&T Atlanta Open can be purchased at http://www.bbtatlantaopen.com/.
About the BB&T Atlanta Open
The BB&T Atlanta Open is held each year in July in Atlantic Station and is one of eight summer tournaments in the US Open Series. The tournament features men’s top world tennis players in singles and doubles competition. Approximately 40,000 fans attend the tournament and bring an estimated economic impact of $10.3 million to Atlanta. Nick Kyrgios won the 2016 singles championship while John Isner won the 2015, 2014 and 2013 titles. Andy Roddick won his last ATP World Tour title when he defeated Gilles Muller at the 2012 BB&T Atlanta Open. Mardy Fish holds the title for 2011 and 2010.
About U.S. Open Series
Now in its 14th season, the world's best players on the WTA and ATP World Tour are coming together for the US Open Series. Linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open, the US Open Series serves as a true regular season of hard court tennis. Featuring a cohesive schedule, the Series centralizes the way tennis is viewed in North America, across multiple television and digital platforms. Fans will see today's top champions go head-to-head with tomorrow's emerging stars, as storylines develop throughout the summer season. Each tournament also engages its local community with a variety of outreach initiatives, including grassroots youth tennis clinics and activities.
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The ATP is the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuits - the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 60 tournaments in 30 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the 2017 ATP World Tour battle for prestigious titles and Emirates ATP Rankings points at ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events). At the end of the season only the world’s best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams will compete for the last title of the season at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event will officially crown the 2017 ATP World Tour No.1 presented by Emirates. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.