(November 27, 2012) The USTA has announced the completed field for the Australian Open Wild Card Playoff. Top 30 player Bethanie Mattek-Sands, former US Open junior champion Jack Sock and two-time reigning NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson are among the players competing in the 2012 Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs, held December 14-16, at Life Time Athletic & Tennis at Peachtree Corners in Norcross, Ga., a certified USTA Regional Training Center.
Eight men and eight women will compete in the fourth annual Wild Card Playoffs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with each winner earning a singles main draw wild card into the 2013 Australian Open. The USTA secured the opportunity through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia, where the two national tennis federations exchanged wild cards for the 2012 US Open and 2013 Australian Open.
The men’s field also includes Bradley Klahn the 2010 NCAA singles champion at Stanford who reached the second round of the 2012 US Open; Rhyne Williams a former All-American at Tennessee who qualified for the 2012 US Open; Denis Kudla, a one-time US Open junior finalist who, in 2012, qualified and reached the first round of the Australian Open and won two USTA Pro Circuit Challenger events; Tennys Sandgren, a former Tennessee standout who has won three USTA Pro Circuit Futures titles this year; Daniel Kosakowski (20, Huntington Park, Calif.), a former UCLA star who won back-to-back USTA Pro Circuit Futures championships in September; and Christian Harrison (18, Shreveport, La.), who, with older brother Ryan Harrison, advanced to the quarterfinals of the US Open doubles main draw in 2012.
Completing the women’s field is Irina Falconi Pan American Games gold medalist who reached the third round of the 2011 US Open; Mallory Burdette, the former Stanford standout who reached the third round of the 2012 US Open after winning a USTA Wild Card; Madison Keys’ last year’s Australian Open Wild Card Playoff winner who is the second-youngest player ranked in the WTA Top 140 after winning a $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Phoenix this November; Maria Sanchez, once the top-ranked college singles player at Southern California who won a $50,000 and a $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in 2012 to boost her ranking more than 560 places since 2011; Alexa Glatch, who was the runner-up to current World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the 2005 US Open junior championship; Julia Cohen who broke through to the WTA Top 100 in (No. 97) in July; and Alison Riske who has played in the main draw of the Australian Open (2011-12) and Wimbledon (2010-11) twice.
Keys, at 16 years old, and Jesse Levine won last year’s events, while current Top 100 players Ryan Harrison and Lauren Davis are among previous champions.
To help kick off the fourth annual Australian Open Wild Card Playoff, 2012 Olympic men’s doubles gold medal winners and 12-time Grand Slam doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan will play a unique exhibition, the “Battle of Georgia,” taking on five select doubles teams from the state each in a first-to-four-games exhibition match on Friday, Dec. 14, at Life Time.
For more information http://www.australianwildcard.com/aowc-players/