For the first time, USTA Middle States last weekend hosted Wild Card Weekend — an event that provided wild card entry into both a men’s and women’s USTA Pro Circuit tournaments in Pennsylvania.
The tournament took place at Mercer County Park Tennis Center, which hosts dozens of USTA events and programs each year.
The first round of play began indoors on Friday due to inclement weather. As the weekend weather improved, so did the top seeds in the men’s and women’s draw.
On the men’s side, the No. 2-seed Nathan Perrone found himself in a semi-final battle against No. 3-seeded Shane Monroe. After dropping the first set, 4-6, Perrone climbed back into the match by breaking Monroe early in the second set and taking it, 6-4. Perrone then went out to a commanding 4-1 lead in the third before Monroe called the match due to injury.
His reward? A matchup against the No. 1 seed, Philadelphia’s Chris Racz, who had only lost three games total en route to the finals. Perrone closed out the match in tight fashion, 6-4, 6-4.
The women’s final featured No. 2 seed Nika Kukharchuk and No. 4 seed Catherine Cable. Both players entered the finals without losing a set. Kukharchuk grinded out the first set, 6-1, with consistent, well-placed ground strokes and continued her strong play throughout the match claiming the title 6-1, 6-2.
With their weekend victories, both Perrone and Kukharchuk earned a spot in upcoming Pro Circuit events. Perrone will be in action this weekend at the Men’s Futures of Pittsburgh Pro Circuit event at Mt. Lebanon Tennis Center in Pittsburgh. Kukharchuk will compete in the Koser Jeweler’s Tennis Challenge at Hempfield Rec Center in Landisville, Pa. August 6-13.
For more Wild Card Weekend tournament info visit http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/tournamenthome/tournament.aspx?T=203787