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US Open Tennis Qualifying Tournament Begins Friday in Tallahassee

June 18, 2014 10:46 AM
Jeff Dadamo
Amy Sargeant (left)
It's an open road to tennis' US Open, and players ranging from juniors to club players up to aspiring pros will battle it out for a chance to reach the last Grand Slam of the year this weekend.

The Scott Speicher Tennis Center on the Florida State University campus in Tallahassee will host the 5th annual US Open National Playoffs-Florida Sectional Qualifying Tournament on June 20-22, 2014.

Both the defending men's champion, Jeff Dadamo of Tampa, and the defending women's champion, former FSU player Amy Sargeant of Tallahassee, return for another chance to advance to the national event and a spot in the US Open qualifying tournament.

"This opportunity is pretty cool and it's what makes the US Open so unique," Sargeant said.

Last year Dadamo won the men's national event, earning a spot in the US Open qualifying tournament, held the weekend prior to the US Open in Flushing Meadows, NY.

This year's draws see a number of family tandems competing in the mixed doubles as well as the singles, including USTA national junior team member Noah Makarome and his sister Star of Wesley Chapel; 2014 Girls' 16s Florida state champion Emma Decoste and her brother Colter of Stuart; and former college player Marlena Hall and her brother Russell of Boca Raton.

The US Open remains the only of the four Grand Slams to open its pre-qualifying to all players age 14 or over in men's singles, women's singles, and mixed doubles. Participants have included those competing for charities as well as pastors, musicians, lawyers, reporters and stay-at-home mothers. Former notable participants include Olympic skier Bode Miller and ESPN's Mike Greenberg, who teamed with six-time US Open champion Chris Evert in mixed doubles.

Past Florida Section Champions:


2013 --
Jeff Dadamo, Tampa *
2012 -- Eric Hechtman, Miami
2011 -- Oleg Dmitriev, Dania Beach
2010 -- Olivier Sajous, Plantation


2013 --
Amy Sargeant, Great Britain/Tallahassee
2012 -- Sandra Roma, Sweden
2011 -- Caroline Dailey, Sarasota
2010 -- Jan Abaza, Deerfield Beach


2013 --
Jesse/Sarah Witten, Naples (brother/sister)
2012 -- Ryler DeHeart/Megan Fudge, Largo (husband/wife)
2011 -- Ellis Ferreira, Holmes Beach/Amanda Rodgers, Bradenton (former Slam winner/student)
2010 -- not held
* Won the national championship that year

The US Open National Playoffs begin as a series of 13 sectional qualifying tournaments, held in different USTA Sections nationwide, including Tallahassee. The 13 men's, women's and mixed doubles champions or top available finishers from each sectional qualifying tournament will advance to the US Open National Playoffs-Men's and Women's Singles Championship, held Aug. 15-18, 2014, and the Mixed Doubles Championship, held Aug. 20-23. All three tournaments will take place in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event.

For tournament draws or to see a list of competitors go to http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=153889.






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