Sunday, July 20, 2014

BB&T Atlanta Open 2014 - 1st Day of Qualies @BBTatlantaopen

Yesterday started out very wet and matches were delayed from their original 9 AM start to 10:30, 12:30 and ultimately 1:30 PM because of the weather.

No worries though, everything cleared up quite nicely and several players and their playing partners actually took the court to warm-up and test the conditions on the new stadium court, even while officials prodded various parts of the court (particularly the baseline corners) for moisture.

While waiting for the tennis to begin, I had a chance to catch up with old friends, and meet some new ones.  The staff that had been in place for the first two years of this sponsor's event has changed, starting with PA announcer Kevin Payne.  His replacement hadn't arrived yet, so Sam Crenshaw from 11 Alive was on hand.  I'd met Sam a couple of years ago (documented on these pages) and asked why I hadn't seen MatchPoint on TV this summer.  He said that he hoped the show with Jeff Batten would return next summer.

By 1:00 PM, it looked like all would be well for the day, and the tournament gates were opened for the fans to stream in, albeit a trickle of the most dedicated that were actually on hand to witness the opening of this year's tournament.  I was soon at my post to score the first set of the first qualifying match on stadium court.

I used my twitter account @atltennisblog to record the action in real-time, in what almost seemed like a contest to post the results before the tournament's tweeter did.  See my tweets for even more pictures.  Michael Shabaz from the University of Virginia Cavaliers had a rather easy time defeating Georgia Tech's Nathan Rakitt, who continued to attempt to serve and volley despite being passed rather easily by his opponent.  The final tally 6-2, 6-1.

Unfortunately it was now 2:45 PM, our replacement scorekeepers were on hand and the rest of my Saturday schedule beckoned, so I had to leave.  But I'll be back Tuesday on Twitter and probably Wednesday morning here on Blogger to share my experiences ... until then, enjoy the BB&T Atlanta Open!

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