Former University of Kentucky tennis standout Eric Quigley will take center stage once again at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex as play begins Monday in the Fifth Third Bank Tennis Championships.
Quigley will attempt to kick-start his professional career in featured tournament matches Monday and Tuesday.
He will team with Ohio State All-American Chase Buchanan in doubles against Daniel Kosakowski and Phillip Simmonds at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Quigley, who made the singles main draw as a wild card, will play in the first round against Riccardo Ghedin at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
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"I don't know much about him. I have never played him before," Quigley said of Ghedin. "It's almost good for me to not know much about him. When I play someone I don't know too well, it gives me a chance to focus on my game even more."
Quigley, a South Oldham graduate, won four state high school singles titles and blossomed into a elite-level collegiate player on the courts at UK.
"Pretty much my whole career I have played some of my bigger matches at the Boone Center at UK. It has been really good to me," Quigley said. "I love it and I love all the fans that come out to support me."
Quigley competed in his first professional tournament last week in Joplin, Mo. He said he will play in tournaments across both the U.S. and Canada the rest of the year.
"Hopefully I can do well and get into some bigger events," Quigley said.
Quigley said he has some of the most important attributes needed to be a successful professional player.
"Speed and endurance are real important, and I think I have both of those," he said. "I pride myself in getting in the weight room to get big and strong to help me hit the ball hard and heavy."
But Quigley said his service game needs to get better.
"Everyone at the top of professional tennis has a big serve," he said. "Even a defensive player has a big serve and can hold their serve. It's something I want to and need to improve."
■ Qualifying rounds conclude Monday, with competition in the men's main draw beginning at 7:30 p.m. The women's main draw starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
The tournament will run through Sunday.
■ UK's SEC regular-season champion tennis team will be honored Thursday night. Quigley and teammate Alex Musialek will be inducted in the UK Tennis Hall of Fame that evening.
Tournament tickets are $10 per day, or $50 for week-long passes.