Avoiding the “blues” is tough in Memphis when it comes to the city’s vibrant music scene, but that is what a number of young Americans will be looking to do when it comes to play in the ATP and WTA events this week in the largest combined indoor professional tennis tournament in the world.On the men’s side, Ryan Harrison will be looking to build off the semi-final showing he had last week in San Jose with a run at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships. Harrison will face a familiar foe in Jack Sock, another young American in the first round.
Sock, who won the 2011 U.S. Open Mixed Doubles title with Melanie Oudin, has embarked on his first full year out on tour and has made the necessary changes a young tennis professional needs to make.
“I’m a lot more professional with the way I go about my business,” offered up Sock. “Unlike juniors, there are no easy matches and if you aren’t ready, the losses can start piling up.”
Donald Young has made tremendous strides in the past year when it comes to his game and ranking, and he’ll be itching to get on the court after his opening round loss in San Jose. Young, currently ranked No. 40 will take on an opponent he has never beaten in Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.The Memphis International’s women’s draw is loaded with rising Americans and this could be the perfect event for one or two of them to make a run.
All three tournament wildcards went to young Americans. Madison Keys, Lauren Davis and Melanie Oudin all received the free pass into the main draw.
Teenagers Keys and Davis are looking make moves into the top-100,while Oudin is looking to halt a slide that has hurt her confidence for the better part of a year.
Also in the mix are Jamie Hampton, Sloane Stephens and Irina Falconi who just lost her first round match to Evgeniya Rodina of Russia on Sunday.
Many of these same players will also be participating in the doubles events, and that is a great opportunity to get close to the action and see the stars of tomorrow.
Over the years, the Racquet Club of Memphis has showcased the biggest names in tennis, but it’s also a great opportunity for these younger stars to prove themselves on a big stage.
Rick Limpert is a freelance writer/photographer that covers sports, technology and the intersection of sports and technology. He is based in Atlanta and his writings can be found on Yahoo Sports and Yahoo News, Examiner.com and CBS Atlanta. You can follow Rick on Twitter at @RickRoswell.