Party Rock Open Wild Cards Announced

LAS VEGAS (Sept. 19, 2012) – Las Vegas’ Asia Muhammad and US Open Junior Girls winner Samantha Crawford have been awarded main draw singles wild cards into the Party Rock Open, a women’s $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament taking place at the Darling Tennis Center Sept. 23-30.

 

Muhammad is fresh off competing in the finals of the World Team Tennis Championships.  The 21-year-old, who turned pro as a teenager in 2007, will look to make a splash in her hometown event after reaching the quarterfinals in 2009.

 

Just last month Crawford, 17, reeled off six straight matches to capture the US Open Junior Girls’ title as a USTA wild card.  Crawford is from Atlanta and trains full-time at the USTA’s National Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla.

 

Other main draw wild card recipients include 2010 NCAA champion Chelsey Gullickson, and Allie Will, a 21-year-old who led the Florida Gators to back-to-back NCAA team titles in 2011 and 2012.

 

Gullickson is from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and is the daughter of former major league baseball pitcher Bill Gullickson.

 

Qualifying wild cards went to teenagers Chalena Scholl (U.S.), Ayaka Okuno (Japan), and Las Vegas’ Kimberly Yee, the No. 1 16-year-old in the country.  Sanaz Marand (U.S.) and 24-year-old Toni Kinard (U.S.) round out the qualifying wild cards with one to be determined.

 

In doubles the USTA will be awarding a main draw wild card to be announced on Monday, and tournament organizers have selected Roxanne and Sierra Ellison, the stalwart sisters who graduated from San Diego State University and turned pro this year.

 

Italy’s Romina Oprandi, currently ranked No. 59 in the WTA world rankings, captured the Las Vegas title in 2011, while top 25 player and U.S. Olympian Varvara Lepchenko was the 2010 champion.

 

The tournament’s official website is www.partyrockopen.com. To learn more about Redfoo and Party Rock Clothing, go to www.partyrockclothing.com.

 

The Party Rock Open is presented by Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center, Las Vegas’ premier orthopedics group. Other sponsors include: USTA-Nevada, CourtThink, LLC, Agent Atleta, Ltd., WG Communications Group, Cox Communications, ESPN 1110 AM, The Point 97.1, 98.5 KLUC, Marty Hennessey Foundation, Solinco strings, Western Cab Company, Marquis Aurbach and Coffing, www.10sBalls.com, Asics, and Perrier water.

 

Follow along on Twitter @partyrockopen and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/partyrockopen.com.

 

Tournament Co-Directors:                    Tyler Weekes  tyler@CourtThink.com

Jordan J. Butler, Esq. jordan@agentatleta.com 

 

Tournament Press Contact:                  Steve Pratt  310.408.4555, Sprattt@aol.com

 

Tournament Marketing/Sponsorship:   Terri Weisbord  702.806.9760 terriwgcommgroup@aol.com

 

USTA Pro Circuit

With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 33 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Mardy Fish, Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki, John Isner, Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.

Unseeded Parrott and Gullickson Win Mixed Doubles

Entering the Open, Travis Parrott wasn’t even sure who his mixed doubles partner would be because original partner Abigail Spears opted to play with Robert Kendrick instead.

As fate had it, that turned out to be a good omen as it allowed him to text Carly Gullickson who was looking for a partner two days before the tournament. So much for needing practice as the unlikely unseeded American pair got a wildcard and rode it all the way to the mixed doubles crown capping off a great run by upsetting defending champs Cara Black and Leander Paes 6-2, 6-4.

Usually, Black and Paes are as tough as it comes. But the underdogs caught them by surprise to pull it off. Up two breaks in the second after crusing through the opening set, they dropped serve making things tight.

But both remained poised winning on Parrott’s serve when Gullickson putaway a forehand volley into an open court, screaming in joy before hugging her victorious partner.

“I was super-relaxed because I felt no pressure on the court, because it was just fun,” the exhilerated Gullickson said.

The daughter of former MLB pitcher Bill Gullickson played the early hero during their amazing run with her volleying skills besting one of doubles’ best in Max Mirnyi back in Round One, saving match point in their comeback win over Mirnyi and Nadia Petrova.

“Then, you walk into that second round, and you’re just all of a sudden, just happy to be in the tournament,” a pleased Parrott noted. “It’s a whole new mind frame.”

“If she’ll play with me,” Parrott said as Gullickson fittingly replied:

“Yeah, for sure.”

Perfect conclusion from an unlikely duo took them all the way. One neither will ever forget.