U.S. Open wild card tourney in August

It may be time to lace up those collegiate or amateur tennis sneakers once again because the U.S. Open will live up to its name and be “open” to virtually anyone and everyone.
The site of the annual U.S. Open, Flushing’s United States Tennis Association (USTA) Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, will host the U.S. Open National Playoffs Eastern Sectional Qualifying Tournament for the second time on April 16-22.
The U.S. Open National Playoffs operate as a series of sectional qualifying tournaments, held in 16 sections throughout the country. The 16 men’s, 16 women’s and 16 mixed doubles champions from each sectional qualifying tournament will advance to the U.S. Open National Playoffs – Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles Championships, held in conjunction with the 2011 Olympus U.S. Open Series.
The winners of the men’s and women’s championships will receive a wild card into the 2011 U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament, held the week prior to the U.S. Open. The mixed doubles champion will receive a wild card into the main draw of the mixed doubles event at the 2011 U.S. Open.
“We again expect the top junior players, collegians, teaching professionals, ‘weekend warriors’ and other recreational players to come out in large numbers to compete this year in singles and now mixed doubles,” said Jim Curley, chief professional tournaments officer and U.S. Open tournament director.
The mixed doubles tournaments are new from last year’s format.
“By adding mixed doubles, we expect even more people to dream big this year and enter one of the sectional qualifying tournaments,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA chairman of the board and president.
Registration for each of the 16 sectional qualifying tournaments begins on March 15 at www.usta.com/tennislink. The entry fee for each of the sectional qualifying tournaments is $125 for singles and $150 for each mixed doubles team ($75 per player). All players competing must have a current USTA membership valid through August 29, 2011.
A player may only enter and compete in one sectional qualifying tournament during a calendar year; players competing in men’s singles or women’s singles and mixed doubles may opt to compete at different sectional qualifying tournaments (one for singles and one for mixed doubles). The draw size at each sectional qualifying tournament will be a maximum of 256 for each singles event and a maximum of 128 teams for mixed doubles.
Participants can be of any playing level, from aspiring novice to seasoned professional, giving everyone an equal opportunity to advance.
“The U.S. Open National Playoffs is about providing players of all abilities the opportunity to connect with the U.S. Open like they never could,” Vegosen.
Katerina Sevcikova, a 28-year-old from Yonkers won the women’s qualifier and Nikita Kryvonos, 23, of Flushing won the men’s USTA Eastern Sectional Tournament last year.
The U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament will be held August 23-26 and the U.S. Open Mixed Doubles Championship begins August 31 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The 2011 U.S. Open begins on August 29.

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