Georgia men’s tennis senior Austin Smith received a wild card bid to participate in the main singles draw of the 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open, it was announced on Wednesday. The tournament, which runs from July 30-August 7, is the third event in the nine-tournament series leading up to the US Open.
A native of Cumming, Ga., Smith received the invite during a special presentation before the Bulldogs’ Wednesday afternoon practice at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Tournament officials, including director Eddie Gonzalez, and Smith’s teammates were on hand to present him with the invitation.
The event, which features 28 singles players and a 16-team doubles draw, will take place at Atlantic Station in Atlanta and will be the last ATP tournament prior to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Smith will play his first match at the BB&T Atlanta Open College Night on Tuesday, Aug. 2.
“What a tremendous honor for a very deserving individual like Austin Smith,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “Austin exemplifies what our program stands for and has had a tremendous career at the University of Georgia. For him to be able to play in an event of this caliber right out of college is a phenomenal accomplishment and will be an unforgettable experience. I want to thank the BB&T Atlanta Open for inviting Austin, and I look forward to watching him play this summer.”
Smith is in the midst of an impressive senior season in which he has reached a No. 15 national ranking, playing at both the No. 1 singles and doubles positions for the Bulldogs. He has played exceptionally well during the stretch run of the 2016 campaign, compiling six-straight wins against ranked opponents over the last month. The three-time First-Team All-SEC selection led the league with 19 dual-match wins this season and is the current active career leader in singles victories in the conference with 127. Smith will join Bulldog legend John Isner, who has won the Atlanta Open in each of the last three years.
Tickets to the College Night event are “Buy One Get One Free” for all college students. Those tickets are available only on the day of the event at the on-site ticket office.