August 30, 2016

US Open National Playoffs Begin on Friday at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., August 18, 2016 – The USTA today announced the 16 men and 16 women who will compete in the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s and Women’s Singles Championships, held Aug. 19-22 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale in New Haven, Conn. The tournament is held in conjunction with the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, the final Emirates Airline US Open Series women’s event of the summer.

The respective men’s and women’s US Open National Playoffs winners will receive a wild card into the 2016 US Open Qualifying Tournament, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., the home of the US Open, Aug. 23-26.

In all, 1,127 players (735 men and 392 women) competed in the seventh year of the US Open National Playoffs in singles at one of 15 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments held throughout the United States, with the winners and select runners-up qualifying for the Championships. The US Open National Playoffs are designed to bring the spirit of the US Open to cities and sections across the country, making the US Open eligible to anyone and everyone 14 and over with the passion to compete, regardless of playing ability or nationality.

Men’s Singles Preview

Three men competing in the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship have competed at the US Open: Gage Brymer (2013 qualifying), Tyler Hochwalt (2005 and 2006 juniors) and Jesse Witten (2006 and 2009 singles; six times in qualifying).

Nearly all of the participants have played college tennis, and five will be playing collegiately this fall: Brymer (UCLA), Shawn Hadavi (Columbia), Martin Joyce (Ohio State), Eric Rutledge (Rice) and Terrence Whitehurst (Florida State). In addition, nine players were college standouts: Henry Craig (Denver), Hochwalt (Florida), Patrick Kawka (BYU), Evan King (Michigan), Hunter Koontz (Virginia Tech), Nicolas Meister (UCLA), Eric Quigley (Kentucky), Cameron Silverman (Elon) and Witten (Kentucky).

Four of these players will be participating in at least one other US Open National Playoffs Championship event. Kawka and Meister will also be competing in the Men’s Doubles Championship, while King will be competing in the Mixed Doubles Championship. Quigley will be competing in all three events.

The oldest player in the Men’s Singles Championship is the 33-year-old Witten, who won last year’s National Playoffs Men’s Singles Championship. Joyce and Rutledge are the youngest players at 19. 

Women’s Singles Preview

Four women competing in the Women’s Singles Championship will be vying for a chance to return to the US Open stage after competing at the US Open previously: Jacqueline Cako (2014 mixed doubles), Julia Elbaba (2010 and 2011 juniors), Ayaka Okuno (2011, 2012 and 2013 juniors), and Ashley Weinhold (2006 mixed and women’s doubles; 2007 singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles; 2006, 2011 and 2012 qualifying).

Five of the women competing will be participating in multiple events at this year’s US Open National Playoffs Championships. Sophie Chang, Nika Kukharchuk, Sanaz Marand and Ashley Weinhold will be playing in two events, while Jacqueline Cako will be taking part in all three championship events open to women: singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

Cako, a former Arizona State University All-American, is the only woman at the US Open National Playoffs Championships who is a past National Playoffs champion; she teamed with Joel Kielbowicz in 2014 to win the Mixed Doubles Championship. Margaryta Bilokin, a standout junior player in New England, is the youngest player in the competition at age 15. She is joined by teenagers Sara Choy, 16; Elyse Lavender, 17; Daavettila, 18; Fernanda Contreras Gomez, 18; and Chang, 19. 

The oldest player in the Women’s Singles Championship is the 29-year-old Kukharchuk, who has been here before. Kukharchuk advanced past the sectional qualifying tournament stage each year from 2012 through 2014.

The US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Doubles Championship field will take place Aug. 20-23, the Men’s Doubles Championship field will take place Aug. 21-24, and the Mixed Doubles Championship will take place Aug. 24-27. The winning teams in the doubles draws earn main draw wild cards into the US Open. In all, 994 players (408 men’s doubles, 200 women’s doubles, 386 mixed doubles) competed in the seventh year of the US Open National Playoffs in doubles at one of 15 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments held throughout the United States, with the winners and select runners-up qualifying for the Championships. 

The US Open men’s and women’s doubles championships begin Aug. 30 and the US Open mixed doubles championship begins Aug. 31 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

The 2016 US Open is scheduled to take place from Aug. 29 to Sept. 11.

US Open National Playoffs information is available at www.USOpen.org/NationalPlayoffs. 

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USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships Results

 

Kayla Day

San Diego, Calif. – (August 14, 2016) – Top-seeded Kayla Day of Santa Barbara, Calif., capped an impressive run to the Girls’ 18s singles title at the USTA National Championships by winning a tough three-set final 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 over seventh-seeded Nicole Frenkel of Winchester, Mass.

In addition to being presented a USTA gold ball for winning the national championship, Day was awarded a wild card into the women’s singles main draw of the US Open, which will take place August 29 through September 11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

Playing on Stadium Court at the Barnes Tennis Center, Day scored two early service breaks to take a 4-0 lead and would go on to win the first set 6-2 in 41 minutes. In the second set, Day broke Frenkel in the third game and then held serve for a 3-1 lead and appeared to be headed for a straight-set victory.

However, Frenkel cut down on her errors and found her groove and went on to win the next five games in a row to secure the second set 6-3 and send the match to a third and deciding set.

After both players held serve to begin the third set, Day took control of the deciding set, losing only seven points as she won the last five games in a row to secure the match and the championship.

“It feels amazing. I can’t even describe how good it feels. I’m just so happy. My serve really helped me out in the third set and I just played solid,” Day said.

“There were two turning points in the match. The first one was at 3-1 in the second set. She started playing better and my level (dropped) a little bit,” said Day, who will turn 17 in September. “The second turning point was when I broke her to go up 3-1 in the third.”

Carson Branstine of Orange, Calif., got past Amanda Anisimova of Aventura, Fla., 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 in the Girls’ 18s third-place playoff. Branstine was awarded a USTA bronze ball for her victory.

In the Girls’ 18s Doubles Championship, fifth-seeded Jada Hart of Colton, Calif., and Ena Shibahara of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., defeated ninth-seeded Meible Chi of Weston, Fla., and Taylor Russo of Deerfield Beach, Fla., 6-1, 6-4 to win the title. Hart and Shibahara were awarded USTA gold balls after the match. They also received a US Open wild card into the women’s doubles main draw.

Complete scores and results for each division of the USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s Nationals Championships can be viewed at:  http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=171037

In addition to the US Open wild cards that are traditionally awarded to the 16s and 18s singles champions and 18s doubles champions, additional wild cards for the US Open Junior Championships and wild cards to various USTA Women’s Pro Circuit tournaments will also be awarded this year.  For the complete list of wild cards to be awarded go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/about.html.

About USTA Girls’ 16s – 18s Nationals:
The USTA Girls’ 16 & 18s National Championships are the premiere hard court tennis tournaments for amateur and professional American girls aged 18 and 16 and under in the United States. In 2010, both age groups began playing their events concurrently at San Diego’s Barnes Tennis Center. Tournament participants, who represent nearly every state in the United States, have been endorsed by their respective USTA Section or have received USTA special exemptions based on their results in qualifying tournaments, junior rankings, or results on the WTA Tour or International Tennis Federation Junior Circuit.  Past tournament champions include Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Andrea Jaeger, Zina Garrison, Mary Jo Fernandez, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.

About George E. Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center:
The Center is owned and operated by Youth Tennis San Diego. It was built in 1995 and completed in 1997. The $4.5 million junior tennis facility was made possible with generous public and private donations and is named after the lead donor family – the “George E. Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center.” The Center, which is dedicated to the youth of San Diego, offers children 18 and under court priority over adults with advanced reservations.

About Youth Tennis San Diego:
Youth Tennis San Diego is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that has been in existence since 1952.  Earlier this year, Youth Tennis San Diego was recognized with the USTA Organization Member of the Year Award. The  award  is  given  annually  to  an  organization  that  provides  outstanding  service  to its members  and  to the  local  community. YTSD was honored at the USTA Annual Meeting and Conference, March 11-14, at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.

The YTSD Mission is:  “To promote the educational, physical, and social development of all youth through organized tennis and educational activities.” Their community programs encourage youth participation, personal integrity, leadership, and competitive spirit in a friendly environment that builds responsible citizens.  YTSD provides thousands of youngsters each year the opportunity to play tennis after school at their neighborhood school. The After School Tennis program provides a safe haven for hundreds of youngsters who are not supervised after school. Through tennis, the children learn the success skills which will give them the confidence and self-esteem needed to confront the negative influences so often found on the streets where they live.
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USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s Nationals
Barnes Tennis Center
San Diego, Calif.
Sunday’s Results

Girls’ 18s Singles
Championship
Kayla Day (1), Santa Barbara, Calif., def. Nicole Frenkel (7), Winchester, Mass., 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

Third Place
Carson Branstine (17), Orange, Calif., def. Amanda Anisimova (5), Aventura, Fla., 7-5, 5-7, 6-1

Girls’ 18s Doubles
Championship
Jada Hart (5), Colton, Calif., and Ena Shibahara, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., def. Meible Chi (9), Weston, Fla., and Taylor Russo, Deerfield Beach, Fla., 6-1, 6-4

rded go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/about.html.

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USTA Names Eric Butorac Director, Professional Tennis Operations and Player Relations

 

USTA NAMES ERIC BUTORAC AS DIRECTOR, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS OPERATIONS AND PLAYER RELATIONS

Former ATP Player Council President Hired to Enhance Player Relations

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., August 03, 2016 – The USTA today announced that outgoing ATP Player Council president and former Top 20 doubles player Eric Butorac has been named Director, Professional Tennis Operations and Player Relations, USTA, starting in October 2016. Butorac will have a dual report to USTA Chief Executive, Professional Tennis Stacey Allaster and US Open Tournament Director David Brewer.

In this newly created role, Butorac will be responsible for enhancing player relations year-round across all of the USTA’s professional tennis events, including the US Open, and he will work closely with both professional tours.  Additionally, he will assist USTA Player Development with doubles coaching and mentoring and will work with Player Development and Professional Tennis Operations on enhancing the USTA Pro Circuit, among other duties.

“Eric will bring a unique player perspective to our USTA team,” said Allaster.  “He is a well-respected professional whose leadership on the ATP Player Council will be a tremendous asset for our organization moving forward.”

Butorac, 35, has won 18 ATP doubles titles in his 14-year professional career and reached the doubles final at the 2014 Australian Open. A native of Rochester, Minn., he served eight years on the ATP Player Council and succeeded Roger Federer as its President in 2014.

Butorac was a three-time ITA all-American while playing college tennis for Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and won the NCAA Division III singles and doubles titles in 2003. He also served as a volunteer assistant coach for Harvard’s men’s tennis team from 2010-14.

Butorac will start in this new position on October 1, 2016.  He plans on playing through the summer with his career culminating at the 2016 US Open.

Related Article:

Eric Butorac Talks College Tennis, State of Pro Doubles

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US Open Wild Card Challenge Standings

US Open Wild Card Challenge Standings

(as of July 25)

 

 

From the USTA: (July 25, 2016) With one week left in the USTA Pro Circuit’s women’s US Open Wild Card Challenge, a berth in the 2016 US Open main draw will be decided this week at the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships, a $50,000 event in Lexington, Ky.

 

The race for the women’s wild card is close, with many players still in contention and 80 points up for grabs in Lexington. 17-year-old Sofia Kenin is currently in first place after winning the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women’s Challenger in Sacramento, Calif., this weekend for her second career USTA Pro Circuit singles title and first $50,000 title. Grace Min, who advanced to the final in Sacramento, is in second place with 49 points, while young American CiCi Bellis is in third place.

 

The men’s wild card challenge kicked off last week with the Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger, a $50,000 Challenger in Binghamton, N.Y. Mitchell Krueger advanced to the final in Binghamton to take the early lead in the men’s race with 48 points. The men’s wild card challenge continues into its second week, also in Lexington.

 

All matches will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com. 

  

The standings, as of July 25, are as follows:

 

USTA Player Development will award a US Open main draw wild card to one American man and one American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA ranking points in a series of USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events this summer. Men’s events include $50,000 Challengers in Binghamton and Lexington, Ky., as well as a $100,000 Challenger in Aptos, Calif. Women’s tournaments include $50,000 events in Stockton, Sacramento, and Lexington.

 

Ranking points from two out of the three men’s and women’s events will be used and combined to calculate the point total and determine the US Open wild card recipient. If a player competes in more than two events, only his or her two best tournaments will be counted in calculating the point total. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or WTA singles ranking will be awarded the wild card. Only players who have not earned direct acceptance into the US Open are eligible for the wild card.

 

The USTA first used this US Open wild card format for its 2012 wild cards, won by Steve Johnson and Mallory Burdette, both of whom reached the third round of the US Open. In 2013, Bradley Klahn and Shelby Rogers earned the wild cards, with Klahn winning his first-round match, and in 2014, Nicole Gibbs reached the third round of the US Open (her career-best Grand Slam result), while Wayne Odesnik earned the men’s wild card. Last year, Bjorn Fratangelo made his Grand Slam main draw debut by earning the men’s wild card, while Samantha Crawford competed in the US Open as the women’s wild card. The USTA also utilizes this wild card challenge format for the French Open and Australian Open.

 

The 2016 US Open main draw will be held Monday, Aug. 29, to Sunday, Sept. 11.

 

Information on the US Open Wild Card Challenge will be available at www.procircuit.usta.com and on Twitter through @USTAProCircuit.

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Player Field Announced for USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships

girls 16 18 s

San Diego, Calif. – (July 25, 2016) – Tournament officials have announced the field of competitors for the upcoming United States Tennis Association Girls’ 16 & 18s National Championships, which are scheduled to be played August 6-14, 2016 at the Barnes Tennis Center, 4490 W. Point Loma Blvd., San Diego, CA, 92107.

Nearly 400 girls aged 16 and 18 and under from across the United States and Puerto Rico will compete for the title of National Champion. The tournament will feature the top junior players from each of the 17 USTA Sections.

Defending 18s singles champion Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., is among the players entered in this year’s event. Other entries in the Girls’ 18s division include 2016 Wimbledon Girls’ Singles semifinalist Kayla Day of Santa Barbara, Calif., and Usue Arconada of Rio Piedras, P.R. and Claire Liu of Thousand Oaks, Calif., who combined to win the Wimbledon Girls’ Doubles title earlier this month.

The complete player entry list for the USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships, can be viewed at:  http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=171037#&&s=5

The tournament also features a strong contingent of San Diego-area players. The following local competitors are entered in this year’s USTA Girls’ Nationals:

Julia Deming, Fallbrook, Calif. —Girl’s 16s
Emily Dush
, Chula Vista, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Elizabeth Goldsmith, Chula Vista, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Julia Haynes
, San Diego, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Amy Huang, San Diego, Calif. —    Girl’s 16s
Cali Jankowski
, Carlsbad, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Jennifer Kerr, Carlsbad, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Alexandra Kuo
, La Jolla, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Nicole Mossmer, La Jolla, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Britt Pursell
, Oceanside, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Jennifer Richards, San Diego, Calif. — Girl’s 18s
Hannah Zhao
, San Diego, Calif. — Girl’s 18s

“We are very impressed with the depth of our player fields this year in the Girls’ 16s and 18s divisions and are anticipating a very competitive tournament throughout the week.” said Co-Tournament Director Liz Blum. “This is a great opportunity for fans to watch some great tennis as well as some future stars.”

The Girls’ 16s event will begin on Saturday, Aug. 6 and conclude with the singles and doubles finals on Saturday Aug. 13. The Girls’ 18s tournament will get underway on Sunday, Aug. 7 and conclude with the 18s singles championship on Sunday, Aug. 14. Both divisions will feature 192-player singles draws and doubles draws with 96 teams.

In addition to the US Open wild cards that are traditionally awarded to the 16s and 18s singles champions and 18s doubles champions, additional wild cards for the US Open Junior Championships and wild cards to various USTA Women’s Pro Circuit tournaments will also be awarded this year.  For the complete list of wild cards to be awarded, go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/about.html.

The Opening Ceremony for the USTA National Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships is scheduled for 5 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Barnes Tennis Center.

Early-round matches will also be played at San Diego State University’s Aztec Tennis Center, 5375 Remington Rd., San Diego, CA, 92115, from Saturday, Aug. 6 through Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Admission and on-site parking at the Barnes Tennis Center is free each day of the tournament. For fans watching matches at SDSU, admission is free, but there is a nominal charge for on-campus parking. University parking regulations will be strictly enforced.

About USTA Girls’ 16s – 18s Nationals:
The USTA Girls’ 16 & 18s National Championships are the premiere hard court tennis tournaments for amateur and professional American girls aged 18 and 16 and under in the United States. In 2010, both age groups began playing their events concurrently at San Diego’s Barnes Tennis Center. Tournament participants, who represent nearly every state in the United States, have been endorsed by their respective USTA Section or have received USTA special exemptions based on their results in qualifying tournaments, junior rankings, or results on the WTA Tour or International Tennis Federation Junior Circuit.  Past tournament champions include Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Andrea Jaeger, Zina Garrison, Mary Jo Fernandez, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.

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Johanna Konta Serves Her Way Into Her First WTA Final

Johanna Konta

Johanna Konta

By Curt Janka

(July 23, 2016) STANFORD, California – Johanna Konta lost just six points on her serve as she toppled Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-2 in the first semifinal of the Bank of the West Classic. The win earns Konta her first WTA final and it’s the first time a British player has played for the trophy here since Virginia Wade in 1981.

The third seed Konta served a total of nine games and held at love for six of them. Cibulkova, the second seed and 2013 champion, is arguably one of the better returners on tour, so what made Konta’s serve so tough today? “She was placing the serve so well and it was hard for me to do something with it,” the Slovak Cibulkova answered. “She was changing the directions of the serve, so that was the main thing. Today she was just serving too well.“

The 25-year-old British woman, currently ranked No. 18,  backed up her serve with solid ground strokes and returns, breaking her higher-seeded opponent three times. After the match, she was pleased with her performance. “I’m really happy to have come through that and to be into my first final,” Konta said. “I thought I served well and did a good job in the end of staying in the present. She [Cibulkova] is an incredible competitor, so I knew going into the match that I was going to have to be there for every single point. I achieved that, so I’m feeling very grateful and looking forward to my next match tomorrow.”

Konta was also playing in the doubles semifinal with her partner, Maria Sanchez, against Darija Jurak and Anastasia Rodionova. Konta will play Venus Williams in the final. The two-time Stanford winner beat Alison Riske in the night session.

“I’m really happy to have come through that and to be into my first final,” Konta said after her win.

 

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Venus Williams Playing Like The Top Seed She Is At The Bank Of The West Classic

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

By Curt Janka

(July 22, 2016) STANFORD, California –  A relaxed Venus Williams played composed tennis as she breezed to a 6-4, 6-1 win over 17-year-old wildcard Catherine Bellis at the Bank of the West Classic on Friday night. While it may have taken three sets for Williams to get by her previous opponent, there was no sign of tension in her play on Friday night. Experience may have been the key against her younger opponent.

When asked why she looked so at ease on the court she said, “I just felt like I had a lot of experience and as a young person she has to go for a lot more than I ever have to go for because I understand the game more. So I felt just comfortable that I could control the match.”

“After Wimbledon I was really pumped,” the 36-year-old Williams said. “I was like, ‘I can’t wait to play.’ That felt good. It felt good to be eager.”

When asked what else she is looking forward to this summer, the two-time Stanford winner replied, “There’s so much to look forward to! The semifinals tomorrow is like my main focus. The Olympics I’ve been waiting for four years. As soon as the last one was over I was ready to go again. It’s getting closer and it feels surreal but when I get there it’s gonna be real. And after that you just turn right back around and play the Open.”

CiCi Bellis

CiCi Bellis

Despite a quick second set, Bellis did make the first set very competitive. “I learned a lot,” she said. “I think mainly I just have to focus on the key points. There are a couple points in the first set that I think if I played a little bit more aggressive I could have won them. But, you know, she’s obviously the number one seed here, so it’s unbelievable to be on the court with someone like her.“

Asked about her short-term goals, Bellis smiled and said, “Yesterday, actually, I committed to Stanford. I’m just going to see how the next year goes in my pro career.” She explained that after another year on tour, she would start her college career at Stanford.

Top seed Williams will face Alison Riske in the semifinals on Saturday. Riske advanced when her quarterfinal opponent fourth seed Coco Vandeweghe suffered an ankle injury and had to retire.

In the bottom half of the draw, second seed Dominika Cibulkova came back from two early breaks to win 7-5, 6-0 over Misaki Doi. Cibulkova will next face third seed Johanna Konta, who beat her quarterfinal opponent, Zheng Saiai 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

 

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Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Nadal Headline US Open Men’s Field

Novak Djokovic

NOVAK DJOKOVIC, ANDY MURRAY, ROGER FEDERER, RAFAEL NADAL

HEADLINE 2016 US OPEN MEN’S SINGLES FIELD

Field Features Five Former US Open Champions

and Includes the World’s Top 98 Men

From the USTA: White Plains, N.Y., July 20, 2016 – The USTA today announced that defending US Open champion and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, world No. 2 and reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, five-time US Open champion and world No. 3 Roger Federer, and two-time US Open champion and world No. 4 Rafael Nadal headline the men’s singles field for the 2016 US Open Tennis Championships. The field includes five former US Open singles champions, including Djokovic (2011, 2015), Murray (2012), Federer (2004-2008), Nadal (2010, 2013) and Marin Cilic (2014).

Each of the world’s top 98 men received direct entry into the US Open, representing 38 countries.

The 2016 US Open will be played Monday, August 29, through Sunday, September 11, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Mercedes-Benz.

Djokovic,who has reached the singles final in Flushing five out of the last six years, leads the men’s field as the world No. 1 and defending US Open champion. The Serbian won his 12th major championship at the French Open in June to complete the “Career Grand Slam,” and held all four major titles until Sam Querrey ended his 30-match win streak at Grand Slams in the third round at Wimbledon.

Murray, of Great Britain, won his third major and second Wimbledon title this month after finishing runner-up to Djokovic in this year’s Australian and French Open finals. Murray, the reigning Olympic Gold Medalist, defeated Djokovic in the 2012 US Open final to win his first Grand Slam championship.

Federer, of Switzerland, is the all-time leader with 17 major singles titles, and was bidding for his eighth Wimbledon title this summer before falling to Milos Raonic in the semifinals. Federer is competing for his sixth US Open title, which would surpass Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors for the most US Open men’s singles titles in the Open Era.

Nadal, of Spain, is a 14-time Grand Slam champion who won his 69th career ATP World Tour title in Barcelona this April. He has not played competitively since withdrawing from the French Open in June with a wrist injury.

Also included in the men’s singles field are: No. 5 Stan Wawrinka, of Switzerland, the 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open champion; No. 6 Kei Nishikori, of Japan, a 2014 US Open finalist; No. 7 Milos Raonic, of Canada, who reached his first Grand Slam singles final at Wimbledon this month; No. 8 Tomas Berdych, of the Czech Republic, a former world No. 4 and 2016 Wimbledon semifinalist; No. 9 Dominic Thiem, the 22-year old Austrian talent; No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France; No. 11 David Goffin, of Belgium; and No. 12 Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion.

Canadian Vasek Pospisil, ranked No. 98, is the last man to receive direct entry into the field of 128. Six players used a protected ranking to gain entry, including Nos. 39 Julien Benneteau, of France, and Janko Tipsarevic, of Serbia, No. 56 Brian Baker, of the United States, No. 81 Thanasi Kokkinakis, of Australia, No. 89 Dmitry Tursunov, of Russia, and No. 94 Jerzy Janowicz, of Poland. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held August 23-26, while the eight remaining spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.

American men who received direct entry are No. 16 John Isner, of Greensboro, N.C., No. 25 Steve Johnson, of Orange, Calif., No. 26 Jack Sock, of Lincoln, Neb., No. 29 Sam Querrey, of Las Vegas, No. 56 Brian Baker, of Nashville, Tenn., No. 57 Donald Young, of Atlanta, and No. 67 Taylor Fritz, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, is entered as an alternate and would be making his first appearance at the US Open since 2013.

Among the players competing in the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be the winner of the seventh annual US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship, held during the Emirates Airline US Open Series’ Connecticut Open in New Haven, Conn., prior to the US Open Qualifying Tournament. The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs in 2010 to allow players 14 and older, regardless of playing ability or nationality, to vie for a spot in the US Open Qualifying Tournament via one of 15 sectional qualifying tournaments.

The July 18 edition of the Emirates ATP Rankings was used to determine the US Open main draw entry list. Seeds will be determined and announced closer to the start of the event.

The 2016 US Open will mark the culmination of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, the North American summer season of seven ATP World Tour and WTA events that began this week in Stanford, Calif.

The US Open is the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world. 2016 marks the second year of an 11-year partnership between the USTA and ESPN, which will see the US Open carried on the ESPN family of networks through 2025. During this year’s US Open, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air nearly 130 hours of live match play with more than 1,200 hours of first-to-last ball coverage to be seen on ESPN3 on WatchESPN, which will also be available via the US Open website – USOpen.org.  In the continued expansion of its US Open coverage, ESPN will feature play from up to 12 courts.

US Open tickets can be purchased: at USOpen.org; by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-OPEN-TIX; and at all Ticketmaster outlets.

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Six-Time Champion Serena Williams Leads 2016 US Open’s Women’s Field

WORLD NO. 1 AND SIX-TIME CHAMPION SERENA WILLIAMS LEADS 2016 US OPEN WOMEN’S SINGLES FIELD AND VIES TO WIN RECORD 23RD GRAND SLAM

Fourteen U.S. Women Receive Direct Entry into the Main Draw –

the Most of Any Country and the Most Since 2004

Field Includes Four Former US Open Singles Champions – Serena Williams,

Venus Williams, Samantha Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova

From the USTA: White Plains, N.Y., July 20, 2016 – The USTA today announced that world No. 1 and six-time US Open champion Serena Williams leads the women’s singles field for the 2016 US Open Tennis Championships. Williams is joined by 101 of the world’s top 103 women, including 2016 Australian Open champion and world No. 2 Angelique Kerber, 2016 French Open champion and world No. 3 Garbiñe Muguruza, two-time US Open champion and world No. 7 Venus Williams, 2015 US Open finalist Roberta Vinci, 2014 US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki, and former US Open champions Samantha Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

In total, 37 different countries are represented in the women’s field. Fourteen U.S. women received direct entry into the main draw – the most of any country and the most direct entries for American women since 2004 when there were 15 entries.

The 2016 US Open will be played Monday, August 29, through Sunday, September 11, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Women’s Singles Championship is presented by J.P. Morgan.

Leading the entry list is world No. 1 Serena Williams, who won her sixth US Open crown in 2014, tying her with Chris Evert for the most US Open women’s singles titles in the Open Era. At this year’s US Open, Williams is looking to break the record for the most Grand Slam singles titles in the Open Era. At Wimbledon, Williams tied Steffi Graf for the most major titles when Williams won her 22nd Grand Slam singles title.  

Joining Williams in the field’s top four are world No. 2 Kerber, of Germany, who defeated Serena Williams in the Australian Open final this year and also reached the 2016 Wimbledon final; No. 3 Muguruza, of Spain, the 2016 French Open champion and 2015 Wimbledon finalist; and No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, of Poland, the first Polish player to reach a Grand Slam singles final (2012 Wimbledon) and a 2016 Australian Open semifinalist.

Rounding out the top 10 entries are: No. 5 Simona Halep, of Romania, the 2014 French Open finalist and 2015 US Open semifinalist; No. 7 Venus Williams, of the United States, who won the US Open in 2000 and 2001 and is a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion; No. 8 Roberta Vinci, of Italy, who reached her first Grand Slam final at the US Open last year at age 32; No. 9 Carla Suárez Navarro, of Spain, a five-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist, who reached the US Open quarterfinals in 2013; No. 10 Svetlana Kuznetsova, of Russia, the 2004 US Open champion and 2009 French Open champion; and world No. 11 Madison Keys, of the United States, a 2015 Australian Open semifinalist, who debuted in the Top 10 last month after winning her second career WTA title.

World No. 6 and two-time US Open singles finalist Victoria Azarenka will not be competing in this year’s US Open after announcing her pregnancy last week. 2006 US Open champion Maria Sharapova, ranked No. 97 this week, will also not compete due to an ITF anti-doping provisional suspension, which is currently under appeal.

Nine players who have won Grand Slam singles titles in their careers are competing in the US Open this year, including two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (2011, 2014), former world No. 1 and 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, of Serbia, and 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, of Italy.

Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich, ranked No. 103, is the last player accepted directly into the women’s field of 128. Azarenka and Sharapova are the only withdrawals. Three players are using a special ranking to gain entry into the main draw – No. 27 Peng Shuai, of China, No. 64 Galina Voskoboeva, of Kazakhstan, and No. 91 Vitalia Diatchenko, of Russia. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, August 23-26, while the remaining eight spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.

In addition to Serena Williams, Venus Williams, and Keys, the other American women who received direct entry into this year’s tournament include: No. 23 Sloane Stephens, of Coral Springs, Fla., No. 35 Coco Vandeweghe, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., No. 52 Varvara Lepchenko, of Allentown, Pa., No. 55 Madison Brengle, of Dover, Del., No. 57 Shelby Rogers, of Charleston, S.C., No. 63 Christina McHale, of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., No. 69 Louisa Chirico, of Harrison, N.Y., No.  70 Irina Falconi, of West Palm Beach, Fla., No. 71 Nicole Gibbs, of Santa Monica, Calif., No. 78 Alison Riske, of Pittsburgh, and No. 101 Samantha Crawford, of Tamarac, Fla.

Several of the young Americans listed above have had breakout performances on the WTA tour this year. Stephens, 23, won three WTA titles this year (Auckland, Acapulco, and Charleston); Vandeweghe, 24, won her second career WTA singles title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch; and Rogers, 23, advanced to her first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal at the French Open. 

Among the players competing in the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be the winner of the seventh annual US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship, held during the Emirates Airline US Open Series’ Connecticut Open in New Haven, Conn., prior to the US Open Qualifying Tournament. The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs in 2010 to allow players 14 and older, regardless of playing ability or nationality, to vie for a spot in the US Open Qualifying Tournament via one of 15 sectional qualifying tournaments.

The July 18 edition of the WTA rankings was used to determine the US Open main draw entry list. Seeds will be determined and announced closer to the start of the event.

The 2016 US Open will mark the culmination of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, the North American summer season of seven ATP World Tour and WTA events that began this week in Stanford, Calif.

The US Open is the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world. 2016 marks the second year of an 11-year partnership between the USTA and ESPN, which will see the US Open carried on the ESPN family of networks through 2025. During this year’s US Open, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air nearly 130 hours of live match play with more than 1,200 hours of first-to-last ball coverage to be seen on ESPN3 on WatchESPN, which will also be available via the US Open website – USOpen.org.  In the continued expansion of its US Open coverage, ESPN will feature play from up to 12 courts

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USTA Names U.S. Olympic Tennis Team

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From the USTA: WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 15, 2016 — The USTA, the governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States, today announced the 12-player U.S. Olympic Tennis Team roster for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 5-21.

 

U.S. women’s tennis coach Mary Joe Fernandez nominated six players with four singles entries and two doubles teams. The 22-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams will compete in the singles competition along with Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens, both making their Olympic debut, as well as Venus Williams, who will be competing in her fifth Olympics.In doubles, Serena Williams, the reigning singles gold medalist, and sister Venus Williams will look to remain undefeated in Olympic doubles competition as they seek their fourth gold medal (2000, 2008, 2012). They will be joined by first-time Olympians Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe in the doubles draw.

 

U.S. men’s tennis coach Jay Berger also nominated six players, including four singles entries and two doubles teams. Four American men will make their Olympic debuts, asSteve Johnson, Jack Sock, Denis Kudla and Brian Baker each will play singles. Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, the reigning gold medalists in men’s doubles,will return to the Olympics as a U.S. doubles team, with Johnson and Sock making up the other U.S. doubles pairing.

 

The U.S. will later announce its two teams in mixed doubles – which will be contested at the Olympics for the second time since tennis returned to the Games in 1988 – comprised from among the 12 players already named, once all players are in Rio.

 

The 2016 Olympic Games will be held August 5-21 in Rio with the tennis competition being staged August 6-14 at the Barra Tennis Center. The U.S. has won 21 Olympic medals in men’s and women’s tennis since it returned as a full medal sport in 1988 – more than any other nation.

 

“The USTA is extremely proud of the 12 athletes who have worked countless hours on and off the court to earn the opportunity to represent the United States at the Rio Games,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman, CEO and President. “It’s going to be an exciting time for the eight first-time Olympians and for the four returning gold medalists.  I’m looking forward to watching them compete as they look to claim gold.”

 

Serena Williams, 34, is the reigning singles gold medalist and a three-time gold medalist in doubles (2000, 2008, 2012). She also was a singles quarterfinalist in her only other Olympic singles appearance in 2008. By winning the Olympic gold medal in singles and again in doubles in 2012, Williams became the first player ever to complete the career Golden Slam in singles and doubles (winning all four Grand Slam events and the Olympic gold medal in a career). Williams is a 22-time Grand Slam singles champion, tying  her with Steffi Graf for second on the all-time list, two behind Margaret Court.  Serena also has captured 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles. She is one of six women in history to have held the No. 1 rankings in both singles and doubles simultaneously and finished 2015 as the No. 1 player in the world for the fifth time.  Williams holds a 16-1 record in Fed Cup play, including 13-0 in singles, and she helped the U.S. capture the 1999 Fed Cup title. Williams is ranked No. 1 in the world.

 

Venus Williams, 36, holds four Olympic gold medals and will become the first American tennis player to compete in five Olympic Games. She captured the gold medal in singles in 2000 and won gold medals in doubles with her sister Serena in 2000, 2008, and 2012. She is a seven-time Grand Slam champion, including five Wimbledon titles, and has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles. She also has ranked No. 1 in both singles and doubles. Williams posted her first Top 10 season since 2010 last year, winning three WTA titles and reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and US Open. In 2013, she re-entered the Top 20 for the first time since being diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder, following the 2011 US Open. Williams is 23-4 in Fed Cup competition, including 19-2 in singles, and she helped lead the U.S. to the 1999 title. Williams is ranked No. 7 in the world.

Keys, 21, will make her Olympic debut on the heels of breaking into the Top 10 for the first time this June, becoming the first American to debut in the Top 10 since Serena Williams in April 1999.  Keys won her second WTA singles title in June at the grass-court Aegon Classic, played in Birmingham in Great Britain. With the title, Keys peaked at No. 9 in the world. Keys advanced to her first career Grand Slam semifinal at the 2015 Australian Open, where she upset No. 4 seed Petra Kvitova and No. 18 seed Venus Williams. This year, Keys reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and the French Open. She captured her first WTA title at the grass-court event in Eastbourne, Great Britain in 2014, and in 2011, she became the youngest player to win a main draw match at the US Open since Nicole Vaidisova in 2005. Keys has played in three Fed Cup ties for the U.S. with a 3-3 overall record (2-2 in singles, 1-1 in doubles). She is ranked No. 11 in the world.

 

Stephens, 23, is making her Olympic debut and has won three WTA titles this year in Charleston, S.C., Auckland, and Acapulco. She won her first WTA title last year in Washington D.C. Stephens’ breakout came at the 2013 Australian Open, where she defeated Serena Williams en route to the semifinals. At 19 years, 10 months, 3 days old, Stephens was the youngest American to reach a Grand Slam singles semifinal since Williams reached the 2000 Wimbledon semifinals at 18 years, 9 months, 8 days old. Stephens also advanced to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2013 to peak at No. 11 in the world that October. Stephens has played in four Fed Cup ties for the U.S., and is ranked No. 23 in the world.

Vandeweghe, 24, is making her Olympic debut and won her second WTA singles title this year in ‘s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (she also won that title in 2014). The following week, she advanced to the semifinals of the WTA event in Birmingham, Great Britain, to reach No. 29 in the world. Vandeweghe also has had success in doubles, advancing to the semifinals at the 2015 US Open and the quarterfinals at the 2016 Australian Open. She also won her first WTA doubles title this year in Indian Wells with her Olympic doubles partner Mattek-Sands. Vandeweghe, also a U.S. Fed Cup player, is ranked No. 35 in the world.

Mattek-Sands, 31, is a veteran on the WTA Tour, but is making her Olympic debut. She is ranked in the Top 10 in doubles and swept back-to-back doubles titles in Indian Wells (with Vandeweghe) and Miami (with Lucie Safarova) this year for her 18th and 19th WTA doubles titles. In 2015, Mattek-Sands won the Australian Open and French Open women’s doubles titles (with Safarova) and the French Open mixed doubles title (with Olympian Mike Bryan). At the 2012 Australian Open, Mattek-Sands teamed with Horia Tecau to win her first Grand Slam title in mixed doubles. In singles, Mattek-Sands has played in 14 US Opens and reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2008 and the French Open in 2013 for her career-best Grand Slam results. In 2011, she was ranked a career-high No. 30 in the world in singles before being sidelined by a rotator cuff injury. Mattek-Sands holds a 5-0 record in Fed Cup doubles and a 2-6 record in singles, playing in seven ties. She is ranked No. 12 in the world in doubles.

 

Johnson, 26, is making his Olympic debut. He is ranked a career-high No. 29 in the world after winning his first ATP singles title this June in Birmingham, Great Britain. Last year, Johnsonreached his first career ATP final in Vienna in October, while reaching three additional ATP semifinals.Johnson also made his debut for the U.S. Davis Cup Team in 2015 against Uzbekistan, winning the doubles rubber with Sam Querrey after the duo advanced to the US Open doubles semifinals together. Johnson turned pro in 2012 after completing an outstanding college tennis career at the University of Southern California, winning the 2011 and 2012 NCAA singles championships and leading the Trojans to team titles all four years he played for the school. Following USC, Johnson reached the third round of the 2012 US Open, becoming the first reigning NCAA champion to advance to the third round of the men’s singles since Sargis Sargisian in 1995. He is ranked No. 25 in the world.

 

Sock, 23, is making his Olympic debut. He reached the final of the ATP events in Auckland and Houston earlier this year and reached a career-high No. 22 in the world this January. Sock won his first ATP singles title in 2015 in Houston and his career-best Grand Slam result came when he reached the fourth round of the 2015 French Open. Sock also has thrived in doubles, winning the 2014 Wimbledon doubles title and the 2015 Indian Wells crown with Vasek Pospisil and peaking at a career-high No. 6 in the doubles rankings in May 2015. He also reached the doubles quarterfinals of the 2015 French Open and 2016 Australian Open.  Sock made his Davis Cup debut in September 2015 in the World Group Playoff in Uzbekistan, where he won both of his singles matches to keep the U.S. Davis Cup team in the World Group for 2016. Sock also competed in the Davis Cup first round this March in Australia and was named to the team for this year’s quarterfinal against Croatia. He is ranked No. 26 in the world.

 

Kudla, 23, is making his Olympic debut and was one of the last direct entries into the Olympics. Kudlaearned a wild card into Wimbledon in 2015 and reached the fourth round for his career-best Grand Slam singles result. In summer 2015, he reached the semifinals of the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Atlanta (his best ATP result) and qualified for both Cincinnati and Montreal. This year, Kudla won his first-round match at the Australian Open and won matches at the ATP events in Indian Wells, Miami, Houston, and Madrid. Kudla holds six USTA Pro Circuit singles titles and four doubles titles. He was ranked No. 3 in the world junior rankings and reached the boys’ singles final at the 2010 US Open. He is ranked No. 102 in the world.

 

Baker, 31, used a protected ranking to compete in the Olympics this year. He has played on the professional tennis circuit since 2001 and has had numerous successes, but also numerous injuries. At the 2013 Australian Open, Baker retired in his second-round match due to a knee injury and played in just three more tournaments that year (the last being the US Open), having knee surgery in 2014.  In 2012, Baker reached his first-ever ATP final in Nice, France, and advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon. He also won three singles titles on the USTA Pro Circuit in 2012, including the $50,000 Challenger in Savannah, Ga., to climb nearly 400 spots in the ATP rankings and into the Top 60. Baker also was a standout junior, peaking at No. 2 in the ITF World Junior Rankings in 2003 after reaching the boys’ singles final at the French Open. He is ranked No. 546 in the world and used a protected ranking to make the Olympic team.

 

Bob and Mike Bryan, 38, will make their fourth consecutive Olympic appearance. The brothers captured a gold medal in men’s doubles at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, as well as a bronze medal in men’s doubles in 2008. Together, they own 16 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles. Bob has won seven mixed doubles titles, while Mike has won four mixed doubles titles, including the 2015 French Open with Mattek-Sands. The Bryans own a record 112 ATP World Tour doubles titles together and ended 2014 as the No. 1-ranked doubles team in the world for a record 10th time in 12 years. Bob and Mike are 24-4 together in doubles when playing for the U.S. Davis Cup team and are the all-time winningest doubles team in U.S. Davis Cup history. They also helped lead the U.S. to the 2007 Davis Cup title. Bob has one additional doubles win in Davis Cup with Mardy Fish in 2010.  Mike has two additional doubles wins in Davis Cup in 2008 and 2012. Bob is ranked No. 3 in the world in doubles, while Mike is ranked No. 4.

 

Venus and Serena Williams are the last American women to win Olympic gold in tennis, with Serena winning the singles gold medal and the sisters capturing the gold in women’s doubles at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Andre Agassi was the last American man to win Olympic gold in men’s singles when he defeated Spain’s Sergi Bruguera in the gold medal match at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The U.S. has not won gold in mixed doubles since 1988.

 

Tennis was part of the Olympic program from the first modern Olympiad in 1896 until 1924.  After a 64-year hiatus, tennis returned to the official Olympic program in 1988, becoming the first sport to feature professional athletes.

 

Team nominations were made by the USTA’s Olympic Oversight Committee and are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Tennis Federation.

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