Many of the top young, really young, tennis players from nine states in the southeast will be in Rome this weekend for the United States Tennis Association Closed 12-year-old championships.
The term “closed” means the tournament is limited to players from Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.
The tournament will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday with a couple of local youngsters seeing action in the early first round matches.
Felipe Selle of Rome will meet Isaac Lewis from Arden, North Carolina, while Sam Calvert of Rome will be matched with Evan Hammond of Prospect, Kentucky, in 8 a.m. action.
Among the top players in the tournament on the boys side are Yannik Alvarez of Cumming who has been rated the top 12-year-old in Georgia and Robert McAdoo IV, who now lives in Lawrenceville, but was last listed on the TennisRecruiting.net website as the No. 1 player in New Jersey.
Both players got first round byes and will not play until noon Saturday.
The latest national ratings list for sixth graders has McAdoo at No. 7 nationally and Alvarez at No. 8.
If the name McAdoo sounds familiar, it should to sports fans. His grandfather is NBA Hall of Famer Robert McAdoo Jr. His father, Robert McAdoo III played tennis and basketball in college.
Three of the top 25 12-year-old girls are sated to play in Rome this weekend. Ellery Mendell of Watkinsville is ranked No. 9, Bella Arwood of Marietta is ranked No. 19 and Brooke Bibee from Bluffton, South Carolina, is ranked No. 22.
All three girls received first round byes and will start competition in the 2:00 hour Saturday afternoon
The tournament is scheduled to run through Tuesday of next week.
The Rome Tennis Center at Berry College just learned that it has been awarded another prestigious, closed tournament in December.
The Southern Junior Pilot Championships for boys and girls in the 16 and 18 year-old age groups will be played December 5-7. The tournament will be open to teens from Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Between this weekend and the first weekend in December, the tennis center in Rome will host the NAIA ITA Cup Oct. 16-18. Players from smaller colleges across the country will be in town for those three days.
The Georgia State Clocktower Classic Wheelchair tournament is scheduled for Nov. 14-15.