ATLANTA, July 18, 2017 – our players were whittled down to two on Tuesday, as the semifinal matches in the 2017 BB&T Atlanta Open Wildcard Challenge were contested at Atlantic Station. It was high quality tennis that attracted a number of fans not only watching from the stands, but also the various levels of the parking deck above the courts.
The winner on Wednesday will receive a wildcard into the BB&T Atlanta Open singles qualifying draw.
Semifinal No .1 - Catalin Gard/Galen Lee Recap
In the first semifinal match of the BB&T Atlanta Open Wildcard Challenge, ATP World Tour veteran, Catalin Gard, defeated Woodstock native Galen Lee 7-5, 6-2, to advance to tomorrow’s finals. After a tight start, Gard found rhythm in the final two games of the first set, and did not drop a point to close out the opener. Using this momentum in the second set, he relied on his forehand to jump out quickly to a 5-0 lead. Lee seemed to relax at this point, winning two straight games, before making unforced errors to allow Gard the victory.
Gard is no stranger to the Atlanta Open as he has competed in qualifying matches here in 2012, 2013 and 2015. He played collegiate tennis at the University of Mississippi, reaching a ranking of No. 1 in the nation and leading his team to consecutive SEC titles in 2004 and 2005. Lee just completed his freshman year at Harvard this year with a record of 5-7. A graduate of Etowah High School, he was a 5-star recruit his senior season and held the No. 1 Georgia and USTA Southern Section ranking.
Semifinal No. 2 – Simon Pritchard/Aleks Huryn
Long rallies punctuated by winners was the theme early on, as Kennesaw State Owl, Simon Pritchard, took on local junior, Aleks Huryn, who is leaving to play tennis for Penn, in a few weeks. The two held serve, until Huryn capitalized on four three straight unforced Pritchard errors. Huryn then held to go up 4-1, before giving up a break to Pritchard. The former KSU player then held, but a controversial “no call” on a serve, allowed Huryn to break back and ultimately close out the initial set, 6-3.
A focused Huryn jumped out to a fast start in the second. Quickly finding himself up 3-1, Huryn was able to handle anything thrown at him by a desperate Pritchard. Relying on consistency of his groundstrokes allowed him to hold off the multiple dropshots thrown in by Pritchard, to move onto the Wildcard Challenge finals scheduled for tomorrow. Final score was 6-3, 6-4, in the favor of Huryn.
BB&T Atlanta Open Wildcard Challenge Final
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 11am
Atlanta Station, Court No. 3. (Park in deck and walk down to ground level by practice courts)
Players: Catalin Gard vs. Aleks Huryn
Catalin Gard def. Galen Lee 7-5, 6-2
Aleks Huryn def. Simon Pritchard 6-3, 6-4
About BB&T Atlanta Open Wildcard Challenge:
When: Finals - Wednesday, July 19
Where: Court 3 (Practice Court Area) Atlantic Station, Atlanta, GA
What: At stake is a wildcard into the BB&T Atlanta Open qualifying which begins on Saturday, July 22. Four local players competing for one spot.
How: Free admission
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.
About GF Sports
GF Sports is a sports and entertainment content company based in New York, NY and Lynnfield, MA. The company owns and operates several professional tennis and ice skating events, each with a rich tradition and longstanding role in their respective sports. GF Sports events include: · The BNP Paribas Showdown (New York, NY) · The New York Open · The BB&T Atlanta Open (Atlanta, GA) · Nancy Kerrigan's Halloween On Ice Tour. Throughout their storied histories, these events have hosted hundreds of thousands of fans, celebrities, sponsor guests, and some of the most iconic names in sports, all while generating significant exposure through multiple social, digital, and TV platforms. In addition to its current properties, GF Sports is in development on several other exciting and innovative sporting events.
About The ATP
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.
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