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USTA Florida Announces Clearwater as US Open Playoffs Sectional Qualifier for 2012

January 26, 2012 05:19 PM
USO-2012-NP-FloridaThe USTA Florida Section announced today that the Henry H. McMullen Tennis Complex in Clearwater, Fla., will host the US Open National Playoffs USTA Florida Sectional Qualifying Tournament on May 26-30, 2012. Entries for the event will open on March 15 and close on May 16.

The US Open National Playoffs returns for the third year, and will again include both men's and women's singles and mixed doubles in 2012, with sectional tournaments leading to the national event, where any participant 14 years or older can earn a shot at a berth into the US Open. Men's and women's singles champions earn a wildcard into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held the week prior to the US Open. The US Open National Playoffs mixed doubles champions receive a main draw wildcard into the 2012 US Open.

"I love how the average player can feel part of America's best sporting event not only as a spectator, but a player as well," said Andy Gladstone, USTA Florida competitive tennis coordinator. "There are hardly any sports that make the fans part of the competition. It's like asking a football fan to be the second-string quarterback for Eli Manning at the Super Bowl."

All three national men's, women's and mixed tournaments will be held in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale, presented by First Niagara, a US Open Series event. The US Open National Playoffs -- Men's Singles and Women's Singles Championship will be held Aug. 17-20, 2012. The US Open National Playoffs -- Mixed Doubles Championship will be held Aug. 22-25.

Registration opens on March 15 at www.usta.com/tennislink. The entry fee is $100 for singles and $120 for each mixed doubles team ($60 per player). All players competing must have a current USTA membership valid through Aug. 27, 2012. Participants can be of any playing level, from aspiring novice to seasoned professional, giving everyone an equal opportunity to advance. Additional information can be found at www.USOpen.org/NationalPlayoffs.
"For the third year, we again expect strong singles and mixed doubles competition among top junior players, collegians, teaching professionals, 'weekend warriors,' and recreational players to earn their way into the US Open," said Jeff Ryan, US Open National Playoffs Tournament Director.

In all, 1,380 players (690 in men's singles, 306 in women's singles, and 384 in mixed doubles) competed in the 2011 US Open National Playoffs at sectional and national events, ranging from experienced professionals (including former doubles world No. 2 and 2001 Australian Open mixed doubles champion Ellis Ferreira, two-time ATP singles champion Jeff Tarango, and former NCAA singles champions Amanda McDowell and Bea Bielik) to recreational players of all talents and walks of life (including ESPN's Mike Greenberg, who teamed with six-time US Open champion Chris Evert in mixed doubles; jewelry store owner and young-adult fiction writer Shawn Cormier of East Brookfield, Conn.; 65-year-old senior USTA League player Glenn Baxter, of Granbury, Tex., and the teenage brother-sister team of Samantha and Harrison Adams, who won the USTA Texas Sectional Qualifying Tournament).

Last year in play at the USTA Florida Section level, the two-time Grand Slam winner Ferreira of Holmes Beach, Fla., and student/partner Amanda Rodgers of Bradenton won the mixed doubles event, teen Caroline Dailey of Sarasota won the women's event, and teaching pro Oleg Dmitriev of Dania Beach won the men's event.

The US Open Qualifying Tournament will be held August 21-24 and the US Open Mixed Doubles Championship begins August 29 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The 2012 US Open begins on August 27.

For more info go to www.USOpen.org/NationalPlayoffs.






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