The 60-court complex grabbed the attention of the GHSA with the organization’s decision to host the state tennis tournament finals on Saturday, while the USTA Georgia Adult League Championships start today and last through Monday.
More than 800 USTA players are expected in town for the state league event, while the high school finals will welcome the top 32 teams in the GHSA’s state playoffs from its eight classifications.
Clayton County Tennis Center at International Park in Jonesboro served as host for the last 10 years. That complex, however, only features 16 courts, so only four team matches could be on the courts at the same time. Each team match would use four courts with the No. 3 singles match contenders having to wait for a court to be available.
The space available at the Rome center solves that problem. The size of the complex allows all classifications and all lines to play simultaneously — a first in the history of the event. Girls’ teams will begin play at 10 a.m., while boys’ teams are scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
While spectators won’t see any Floyd County teams in contention for a state title, the Class AA boys’ championship features two teams that fought their way through area teams.
Model’s boys’ team, which finished the regular season with a perfect record and a second region title, faced a familiar opponent in Bleckley County last week in the Elite Eight. Also, last season, the Blue Devils were defeated by the Royals in the state championship.
The Royals return to the state final this season after ousting the Blue Devils 3-1 in the quarterfinals at the Rome Tennis Center. Model had shut out its two opening opponents before losing to Bleckley County.
Bleckley County will now try to cap its season with a title against another team that made its way through an area foe — Benedictine. The Cadets defeated Rockmart 4-1 last week in the Final Four. Rockmart also blanked its two opening opponents in the playoffs and got by Early County, 3-2, in the Elite Eight.