Benamar blasts a shot in Tuesday's match.
© Matt Hacker/USTA Southern
There aren’t many players who know French player Sherazad Benamar, but they will now after the great display of tennis so far in the US Open National Playoffs Southern Qualifying Tournament.
Today, despite a point dispute at the end of the first set, Benamar took out Texan Whitney McCray 6-3, 6-2. Her first opponent Monday, Nicole Johnston, an Atlanta resident, was swiftly beaten by Benamar 6-1, 6-2.
Benamar heard about the Sandy Springs tournament from her husband who encouraged to take a shot at a US Open qualifier spot.
Benamar said, "He told me it would be good to play and pushed me to enter, but he told me five days before it started!"
She flew in from Paris, France last Sunday and started match play the morning of the next day at 10 a.m. Her focus before this tournament was on winning a bid for the French Open, so clay was on her mind.
"I had no time to prepare," Sherazad said, but so far she seems to be doing quite well.
She plays Laura Patterson (Roswell, Ga.) Wednesday at 10 a.m., who defeated Georgia Tech player Kendall Woodard in a marathon match today 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 7-6(5).
When asked if she feels she has the momentum to win tomorrow she responded, "I am feeling good with my play, but I do not know anyone here, being from France. It’s tough."
Benamar is playing in a ITF Mexico $10,000 tournament after she finishes in Sandy Springs, then it’s back to the USA, "hopefully to compete in the US Open!"
Some notable winners in the Men’s round of 16 field of play are: Kyle Craig (McDonough, Ga.), Sam Edwards (Suwanee, Ga.), Trevor Gotkowski (Cartersville, Ga.) and Nathan Rakitt (Marietta, Ga.).
Play resumes for the quarterfinals tomorrow at 11 a.m. for Kyle Craig against Trevor Gotkowski and 3PM for Sam Edwards against Nathan Rakitt.