USTA PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS WITH COLLEGIATE TENNIS TO FEATURE TOP JUNIOR AND COLLEGIATE PLAYERS AT AUDI NAPA VALLEY TENNIS CLASSIC

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., September 18, 2012 – The USTA announced today that eight of America’s top juniors will play in a unique tournament format, competing against some of the country’s top collegiate players in the Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic, September 21-23 at Meadowood Napa Valley in St. Helena,Calif.

This will mark the third straight year juniors are incorporated into the 12-year-old event, a round-robin style tournament that rewards its winner with a USTA wild card entry into a USTA Pro Circuit event. The tournament will feature eight ofAmerica’s premier juniors competing against four players from six NCAA Division I schools, includingCalifornia,Berkeley,Georgia,Harvard,Illinois, Stanford andTexas.

 

“We’re excited that another group of our top juniors gets to compete against some very strong collegians in a respected, valuable event,” said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development.

 

“Collegiate competition is a significant part of the pathway from junior tennis to professional tennis, and letting our juniors compete with college veterans will only benefit their mental and physical development.”

 

Each school will send four players to compete alongside the eight juniors, and the 32-man field will be split into eight pools featuring three collegians and a junior (See page two for a full list of participants).

 

Following three matches in pool play, the eight pool winners will compete in the PlayBrave USTA Wild Card Shootout, a single-elimination, 10-point tiebreak tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive a USTA-sponsored wild card into a USTA Pro Circuit event that is yet to be determined.

 

The Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic is the first of three events this fall combining juniors and collegians. Similar tournaments will be held inPortland,Ore., (women’s) and Orlando (men’s) in November, featuring

juniors and collegians yet to be named.

 

The Classic, which was founded 12 years ago by Cal coach Peter Wright and Meadowood Tennis Director Doug King, will feature junior players for the third consecutive year after being held exclusively for collegians from 2001-09. The 2010 Classic included Jack Sock, who reached the third round of the 2012 US Open, whileCalsenior Nick Andrews claimed the 2011 title. This year’s roster of juniors was selected by USTA Player Development based on ATP rankings (if applicable), national junior rankings and results, and a selection of younger players for developmental purposes.

 

“Bringing the elite juniors and college players together inNapaprovides a unique opportunity to help American junior development,” said Wright. “The event was a major success last year and we look forward to another year of high-quality competition.”

 

This will be the 12th consecutive year the event has been held at Meadowood, with Audi returning as the title sponsor.

 

USTA and Collegiate Tennis: For the third straight year this fall, the USTA will serve as title sponsor and host of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center’s indoor tennis center. The USTA will also serve as the title sponsor of the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, the USTA/ITA National Collegiate Wheelchair Championships and more than 85 USTA/ITA Regional Tournaments. In all, close to 10,000 players from nearly 600 schools participate annually in the USTA/ITA Regional Championships. The USTA also names its Collegiate Team, an elite training program for top American collegiate tennis players that began in 1996 and is funded by the USTA. It is designed to provide college players with valuable exposure to the USTA Pro Circuit in a team-oriented environment during the year. Current pros who were members of prior USTA Summer Collegiate Teams include: James Blake, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, John Isner, Amer Delic, Jesse Levine, Mallory Burdette and Irina Falconi.

 

Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic – Roster of Participants

USTA Juniors

Deiton Baughman (16,Carson,Calif.)

Robbie Bellamy (17, PacificPalisades,Calif.)

Gage Brymer (17,Irvine,Calif.)

Henry Craig (17,Murietta,Calif.)

Joseph DiGiulio (17,Lakewood,Calif.)

TJ Pura (17, PacificPalisades,Calif.)

Jack Murray (17,Beverly Hills,Mich.)

Konrad Zieba (17,Glenview,Ill.)

 

University of California, Berkeley

Mads Engsted (FR,Aarhus,Denmark)

Chris Konigsfeldt (SR,Rungsted Kyst,Denmark)

Ben McLachlan (JR,Queenstown,New Zealand)

Riki McLachlan (SR,Queenstown,New Zealand)

 

Stanford University

Daniel Ho (JR,Rosemead,Calif.)

Matt Kandath (SR,Gansevoort,N.Y.)

John Morrissey (SO,Dublin,Ireland)

Robert Stineman (SO,Winnetka,Ill.)

 

University of Georgia

Garrett Brasseaux (JR,Mandeville,La.)

Eric Diaz (SO,Athens,Ga.)

Nathan Pasha (SO,Atlanta,Ga.)

Ben Wagland (FR,New South Wales,Australia)

 

Harvard University

Shaun Chaudhuri (FR,Pleasanton,Calif.)

Casey MacMaster (FR,Fort Collins,Colo.)

Denis Nguyen (FR,Anaheim,Calif.)

Alex Steinroeder (FR,Concord,Mass.)

 

University of Illinois

Farris Gosea (SO,Cardiff,Wales, United Kingdom)

Stephen Hoh (SR,Eaglemont,Victoria,Australia)

Tim Kopinski (SO,Palos Hills,Ill.)

Brian Page (FR,Wheaton,Ill.)

 

University of Texas

Lloyd Glasspool (SO,Birmingham,England)

Soren Hess-Olesen (SO,Aarhus,Denmark)

Sudanwa Sitaram (JR,Coimbatore,India)

Daniel Whitehead (SR,Sugar Land,Texas)

 

*Participants subject to change.

 

# # #

 

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in theU.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game.

A not-for-profit organization with more than 785,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA philanthropic entity, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and helps underserved youth and people with disabilities. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com, “like” the official Facebook page facebook.com/usta or follow @usta on Twitter.

HENDERSON’S MUHAMMAD FALLS IN HOMETOWN EVENT TO ALBANESE, WHO FACES CIRSTEA NEXT ON 21st BIRTHDAY

LAS VEGAS, Nev., (Sept. 30, 2010) – Lauren Albanese had a miserable 20th birthday one year ago, losing to Asia Muhammad in both singles and doubles at the Lexus of Las Vegas Open.

A day before her 21st birthday on Thursday, Albanese got some satisfying revenge, beating the hometown hero from Henderson in the same round as last year, 6-4, 7-5.

It was a boisterous Red Rock Country Club crowd cheering all the way for Muhammad who lost in last year’s quarterfinals one round after beating Albanese. “I can understand it; you would expect it with her being from here,” Albanese said of the fans. “Maybe I can get them on my side tomorrow. I’ll need it. It’s no fun losing on your birthday.”

Muhammad let a 5-1 lead slip away in the second set as Albanese survived two sets points down 5-4 in the most intense game of the match. Muhammad was disappointed she couldn’t force a third set. “I just love this tournament and I’m encouraged with how well I played this week,“ Muhammad said. “Lauren played the best I’ve seen her play.”

Albanese, ranked No. 238 in the world and from Jacksonville, Fla., will have her hands full Friday as she goes up against No. 3 seeded Sorana Cirstea in the quarterfinals. “I’m excited to play a former Top 100 player and to see how I’ll do,” Albanese said of Cirstea, the 2009 French Open quarterfinalist.

Cirstea is guaranteed to have several fans on hand as she trains part time with the Adidas group in Vegas with Andre Agassi’s former coach Darren Cahill, who was on hand to watch on Thursday while Gil Reyes and Sargis Sargsian were on hand for her first-round match on Wednesday.

Unseeded 29-year-old American Abigail Spears beat wild-card Chelsey Gullickson to also move into the quarterfinals. The 2010 NCAA singles champion from Georgia Gullickson lost the first set at 6-0 for the second straight match. But unlike her last match where she came back to beat Julia Cohen, Gullickson couldn’t hold off Spears. 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.

“I just came out and didn’t miss,” said Spears, who said she was unaware of Gullickson’s slow starting issues. Spears, who was born and raised in San Diego, currently resides in Pueblo, Colo.

She will meet Mirjana Lucic, the No. 4 seed from Croatia, in the first match on Stadium Court at 10 a.m. Friday.

Thursday’s Second-Round Singles Scores

q: qualifier; wc: wild card

Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4), def. Heidi El Tabakh, Canada, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), def. Julie Ditty, U.S. (q), 6-2, 6-3

Edina Gallovits, Romania (1), def. Alexandra Mueller, U.S. (wc), 6-3, 6-4

Valerie Tetreault (Canada) (8), def. Kimberly Couts, U.S., 0-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2

Abigail Spears, U.S., def. Chelsey Gullickson, U.S. (wc), 6-0, 5-7, 6-4

Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2), def. Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S., 7-6 (8), 6-3

Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (6), def. Alexa Glatch, U.S. (wc), 3-6, 6-3, 7-5

Lauren Albanese, U.S., def. Asia Muhammad, U.S., 6-4, 7-5

Second-Round Doubles Scores

Alexandra Mueller, U.S. / Ahsha Rolle, U.S., def. Kimberly Couts, U.S. / Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (3), 6-2, 6-3

Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S. / Megan Moulton-Levy, U.S. (4), def. Christina Fusano, U.S. / Courtney Nagle, U.S., 6-2, 6-3

Irina Falconi, U.S. / Maria Sanchez, U.S., def. Madison Brengle, U.S. / def. Amra Sadikovic, Switzerland, 6-4, 6-3

Abigail Spears, U.S. (2) / Mashona Washington, U.S., def. Stephanie Foretz Gacon, France / Alexa Glatch, U.S., 7-6 (3), 7-5

Friday’s Order of Play

Stadium Court Starting at 10 a.m.

Abigail Spears, U.S. vs. Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4)

Followed by Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), vs. Lauren Albanese, U.S.,

Followed by Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S. / Megan Moulton-Levy, U.S. (4), vs. Abigail Spears, U.S. (2) / Mashona Washington, U.S.

Court 2 Starting at 10 a.m.

Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2), vs. Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (6)

Followed by Valerie Tetreault, Canada (8), vs. Edina Gallovits, Romania (1)

Followed by Irina Falconi, U.S. / Maria Sanchez, U.S., vs. Alexandra Mueller, U.S. / Ahsha Rolle, U.S.

The following is a tentative schedule of events supplementing the tournament:

COMMUNITY EVENTS

  • Friday, Oct. 1 – Volkl/Becker Racquet Day, 6-8 p.m.

USTA Members Day ($10 off admission for all current USTA members)

  • Saturday, Oct. 2 – Super Semifinal Saturday; USTA Ladies League Luncheon.

For additional event and ticket information, please visit www.lexuslvopen.com

LAS VEGAS PAST CHAMPIONS

Singles

Year                Winner                                                Runner-up

2009                Regina Kulikova (RUS)                      Aniko Kapros (HUN)

2008                Camille Pin (FRA)                               Asia Muhammad (U.S.)

2007                Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)                 Akiko Morigami (JPN)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.)                           Hila Rosen (ISR)

Doubles

Year                Winner

2009                Aniko Kapros (HUN) – Agustina Lepore (ARG)

2008                Melinda Czink (HUN) – Renata Voracova (CZE)

2007                Victoria Azarenka (BLR) – Tatiana Poutchek (BLR)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.) – Annabel Ellwood (AUS)

PRIZE MONEY

SINGLES:                  Prize Money              Points

Winner                         $7,315                         70

Runner-up                   $3,990                         50

Semifinalist                 $2,185                         32

Quarterfinalist             $1,235                         18

Round of 16                $760                            10

Round of 32                $475                            1

DOUBLES:                Prize Money (per team)

Winner                         $2,660

Runner-up                   $1,425

Semifinalist                 $760

Quarterfinalist             $380

Round of 16                $285

USTA Pro Circuit

With 94 tournaments 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. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit for approximately $3.2 million in prize money and valuable ATP and WTA Tour ranking points. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jelena Jankovic are among the top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. The USTA Pro Circuit is world-class tennis administered on the local level and played on local tennis courts as part of the fabric of communities nationwide — an opportunity for current and new fans to experience the excitement and intensity of the professional game in their neighborhood.

WILD-CARD ALEXA GLATCH BEATS WASHINGTON; VEGAS’ ASIA MUHAMMAD UPSETS NO. 5 SEED ON DAY 2 OF LEXUS OF LAS VEGAS USTA WOMEN’S $50,000 PRO CIRCUIT EVENT

LAS VEGAS, Nev., (Sept. 29, 2010) – Alexa Glatch doesn’t know if she’ll ever play at 100 percent physically again, but she reported on Wednesday that the bulging disk injury in her lower back felt “a thousand times better” than one year ago.

That’s good news for Glatch and bad news for her future opponents, including the rest of the Round of 16 singles field remaining at the Lexus of Las Vegas Open where Glatch beat Mashona Washington, 6-3, 6-4, in the first round on Wednesday at the Red Rock Country Club.

Also on Wednesday, Las Vegas’ Asia Muhammad, 19, opened up play upsetting No. 5 seeded Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia, 6-1, 6-7 (2), 6-3.

Muhammad meets American Lauren Albanese in a second-round match Thursday on Stadium Court not before 3:30 p.m. Muhammad beat Albanese in the same round last year at this event before she fell in the quarterfinals.

“It feels great playing in front of the hometown crowd,” Muhammad told the crowd. “I get some home cooked meals and see a lot of familiar faces.”

Glatch, 21, made a move from the beach (Newport) to the mountains (Parker, Colo.) at the end of last year and was hoping her new surroundings would do her career some good. Currently ranked No. 269 in the world, Glatch has always been a talented player who many feel hasn’t yet reached her full potential.

“My back is feeling pretty good now,” said Glatch, who is being coached by Ryan Segelke and has a fitness trainer she’s working with outside of Denver. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be 100 percent. It hasn’t been the best year for me. I played three events and then the U.S. Open. We’ll see how it goes from here.”

In one of the more entertaining matches of the day, No. 3 seeded Sorana Cirstea of Romania downed former Georgia Tech All-American Irina Falconi, a qualifier, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Also advancing was No. 4-seeded Mirjana Lucic of Croatia, who beat Camila Giorgi of Italy, 6-2, 6-4.

Wednesday’s First-Round Singles Scores

q: qualifier; wc: wild card

Alexa Glatch, U.S. (wc), def. Mashona Washington, U.S., 6-3, 6-4

Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4), def. Camila Giorgi, Italy, 6-2, 6-4

Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), def. Irina Falconi, U.S. (q), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

Edina Gallovits, Romania (1), def. Petra Rampre, Slovakia, 7-6 (3), 6-3

Heidi El Tabakh, Canada, def. Madison Brengle, U.S, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3

Kimberly Couts, U.S., def. Brittany Augustine, U.S (q), 6-1, 6-1

Julie Ditty, U.S. (q), def. Ashley Weinhold, U.S. (q), 6-0, 6-3

Valerie Tetreault (Canada) (8), def. Ekaterina Shulaeva, Canada, 6-3, 6-3

Abigail Spears, U.S., def. Laura Siegemund, Germany, 6-1, 6-4

Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S., def. Shelby Rogers, U.S., 4-6, 6-3, 6-0

Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (6), def. Amra Sadikovic, Switzerland, 6-2, 6-2

Asia Muhammad, U.S. (wc), def. def. Mariana Duque-Marino, Colombia (5), 6-1, 6-7 (2), 6-3

First-Round Doubles Score

Alexandra Mueller, U.S. / Ahsha Rolle, U.S., def. Liga Dekmeijere, Latavia / Varvara Lepchenko, U.S., 6-3, 6-1

Thursday’s Order of Play

Stadium Court Starting at 10 a.m.

Chelsey Gullickson, U.S. (wc), vs. Abigail Spears, U.S.

Followed by Sorana Cirstea, Romania (3), vs. Julie Ditty, U.S.

Followed by Heidi Tabakh, Canada, vs. Mirjana Lucic, Croatia (4)

Lauren Albanese, U.S., vs. Asia Muhammad, U.S., (wc)

Court 2 Starting at 10 a.m.

Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S., vs. Varvara Lepchenko, U.S. (2)

Followed by Kimberly Couts, U.S., vs. Valerie Tetreault, Canada (8)

Followed by Christina Fusano, U.S. / Courtney Nagle, U.S. vs. Lindsay Lee-Waters, U.S. / Megan Moulton-Levy, U.S. (4)

Followed by Madison Brengle, U.S. / Amra Sadikovic, Switzerland vs. Irina Falconi, U.S. / Maria Sanchez, U.S. (wc)

Court 3 Starting at 10 a.m.

Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (6), vs. Alexa Glatch, U.S. (wc)

Followed by Edina Gallovits, Romania (1), vs. Alexandra Mueller, U.S. (wc)

Followed by Stephanie Foretz Gacon, France / Alexa Glatch, U.S., vs. Alexandra Mueller, U.S. / Ahsha Rolle, U.S.

The following is a tentative schedule of events supplementing the tournament:

COMMUNITY EVENTS

  • Thursday Sept. 30 – High School Day, 6-8 p.m. (Free general admission for ages 15-18).
  • Friday, Oct. 1 – Volkl/Becker Racquet Day, 6-8 p.m.

USTA Members Day ($10 off admission for all current USTA members)

  • Saturday, Oct. 2 – Super Semifinal Saturday; USTA Ladies League Luncheon.

For additional event and ticket information, please visit www.lexuslvopen.com

LAS VEGAS PAST CHAMPIONS

Singles

Year                Winner                                                Runner-up

2009                Regina Kulikova (RUS)                      Aniko Kapros (HUN)

2008                 Camille Pin (FRA)                               Asia Muhammad (U.S.)

2007                Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)                 Akiko Morigami (JPN)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.)                           Hila Rosen (ISR)

Doubles

Year                Winner

2009                Aniko Kapros (HUN) – Agustina Lepore (ARG)

2008                Melinda Czink (HUN) – Renata Voracova (CZE)

2007                Victoria Azarenka (BLR) – Tatiana Poutchek (BLR)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.) – Annabel Ellwood (AUS)

PRIZE MONEY

SINGLES:                  Prize Money              Points

Winner                         $7,315                         70

Runner-up                   $3,990                         50

Semifinalist                 $2,185                         32

Quarterfinalist             $1,235                         18

Round of 16                $760                            10

Round of 32                $475                            1

DOUBLES:                Prize Money (per team)

Winner                         $2,660

Runner-up                   $1,425

Semifinalist                 $760

Quarterfinalist             $380

Round of 16                $285

USTA Pro Circuit

With 94 tournaments 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. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit for approximately $3.2 million in prize money and valuable ATP and WTA Tour ranking points. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jelena Jankovic are among the top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. The USTA Pro Circuit is world-class tennis administered on the local level and played on local tennis courts as part of the fabric of communities nationwide — an opportunity for current and new fans to experience the excitement and intensity of the professional game in their neighborhood.

WILD-CARD MUELLER BEATS STEVENSON ON DAY 1 OF LEXUS OF LAS VEGAS USTA WOMEN’S $50,000 PRO CIRCUIT EVENT

LAS VEGAS, Nev., (Sept. 28, 2010) – Advantage, wild cards.

Alexandra Mueller, a 22-year-old from Abington, Pa., and Chelsey Gullickson, 20, from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., took full advantage of their wild cards on Tuesday during the first day of the Lexus of Las Vegas Open, a USTA $50,000 women’s event being played at the Red Rock Country Club.

Mueller beat veteran Alexandra Stevenson, 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 and now owns a 2-1 career head-to-head advantage over Stevenson having won the last two, including another three-setter at a Boston $50,000 Challenger in June.

“I’m familiar with her having her played her those two other times,” said Mueller, who was the winner of the U.S. National Open Playoff over the summer and won a wild-card in the qualifying at the U.S. Open. “I know she can turn it on at times and be real explosive. I had a couple of set points in the first that I couldn’t pull the trigger on.”

Stevenson, who will be 30 in December, is currently ranked No. 323 in the world while Mueller is No. 442.

Joining Mueller in the winner’s circle was another wild-card Gullickson. The 2010 NCAA singles champion from Georgia is taking the fall off from school to see how she does in professional events. She had a nice won over No. 7 seeded Julia Cohen on Tuesday, beating the world’s No. 169 player, 0-6 7-6 (3), 6-2. Gullickson, who is the daughter of former major league pitcher Bill Gullickson, recently played at the U.S. Open, losing a night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium Court to top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki in the first round.

Only two other main draw singles matches were played with No. 2 seeded Varvara Lepchenko of the U.S. beating Kathrin Woerle of Germany, 6-3, 6-3 and Florida’s Lauren Albanese taking out Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France, 7-6 (4), 6-0

Las Vegas’ Asia Muhammad, 19, will play her first singles match in the last match on Stadium Court on Wednesday against No. 5 seeded Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia, not before 4 p.m.  Muhammad is currently ranked No. 443 in the world and was a surprise quarterfinalist in the event last year and a runner-up in a similar event in 2008.

It was a good day to be an odd-numbered seeded player in qualifying as the No. 1, 3, 5 and 7 seeded players all won matches Tuesday to gain entry into the main draw. Former Georgia Tech All-American Irina Falconi (No. 1), all-time USTA Pro Circuit singles leader Julie Ditty (3), Ashley Weinhold (No. 5) and Brittany Augustine (No. 7) each won straight-set matches.

Two of those qualifiers will face each other in the first round on Wednesday as Ditty drew Weinhold.

First-Round Singles Scores

Varvara Lepchenko (U.S.) (2) def. Kathrin Woerle (GER), 6-3, 6-3

Lauren Albanese (U.S.) def. Stephanie Foretz Gacon (FRA), 7-6 (4), 6-0

Chelsey Gullickson (U.S.) (wc) def. Julia Cohen (U.S.) (7), 0-6 7-6 (3), 6-2

Alexandra Mueller (U.S.) (wc) def. Alexandra Stevenson (U.S.), 5-7, 6-1, 6-3

First-Round Doubles Scores

Lindsay Lee-Waters (U.S.) (4) / Megan Moulton-Levy def. Asia Muhammad (U.S.) / Ashley Weinhold (U.S.), 6-4, 6-2

Kimberly Couts (U.S.) / Anna Tatishvili (GEO) (3) def. Sabrina Capannolo (U.S.) / Amanda Fink (U.S.), 6-1, 6-3

Christina Fusano (U.S.) / Courtney Nagle (U.S.) def. Heidi El Tabakh (CAN) / Riza Zalameda (U.S.), 6-2, 6-2

Irina Falconi (U.S.) / Maria Sanchez (U.S.) def. Jorgelina Cravero (ARG) / Kathrin Woerle (GER), 6-0, 3-6, (10-7)

Stephanie Foretz Gacon (FRA) / Alexa Glatch (U.S.) def. Nicole Melichar (U.S.) / Petra Rampre (SLO), 6-1, 6-0

Abigail Spears (U.S.) (2) / Mashona Washington (U.S.) def. Lauren Albanese (U.S.) / Laura Siegemund (GER), 6-3, 6-2

Madison Brengle (U.S.) / def. Amra Sadikovic (SUI) def. Sorana Cirstea (ROU) / Edina Gallovits (ROU) (1), 6-2, 5-7, (10-6)

Final Qualifying Scores

Ashley Weinhold (U.S.) (5) def. Jorgelina Cravero (ARG) (4), 6-1 6-2

Brittany Augustine (U.S.) (7) def. Julia Boserup (U.S.) (2), 6-4 7-5

Julie Ditty (U.S.) (3) def. Maria Sanchez (U.S.), 6-0 6-1

Irina Falconi (U.S.) (1) def. Amanda Fink (U.S.) (6), 6-4 7-5

Wednesday’s Order of Play

q: qualifier; wc: wild card

Starting at 10 a.m. on Stadium Court

Mashona Washington (U.S.) vs. Alexa Glatch (U.S.) (wc)

Camila Giorgi (ITA) vs. Mirjana Lucic (CRO) (4)

Sorana Cirstea (ROU) (3) vs. Irina Falconi (U.S.) (q)

Asia Muhammad (U.S.) (wc) vs. vs. Mariana Duque-Marino (COL) (5)

Starting at 10 a.m. on Court 2

Edina Gallovits (ROU) (1) vs. Petra Rampre (SLO)

Heidi El Tabakh (CAN) vs. Madison Brengle (U.S)

Kimberly Couts (U.S.) vs. Brittany Augustine (U.S) (q)

Ashley Weinhold (U.S.) (q) vs. Julie Ditty (U.S) (q)

Starting at 10 a.m. on Court 3

Ekaterina Shulaeva (CAN) vs. Valerie Tetreault (CAN) (8)

Abigail Spears (U.S.) vs. Laura Siegemund (GER)

Lindsay Lee-Waters (U.S.) vs. Shelby Rogers (U.S.)

Liga Dekmeijere (LAT) / Varvara Lepchenko (U.S.) vs. Alexandra Mueller (U.S.) / Ahsha Rolle (U.S.)

Starting at 10 a.m. on Court 5

Anna Tatishvili (GEO) (6) vs. Amra Sadikovic (SUI)

The following is a tentative schedule of events supplementing the tournament:

COMMUNITY EVENTS

  • Wednesday Sept. 29 – Players Party at J.W. Marriott, 6-9 p.m. (Free for ticket holders).
  • Thursday Sept. 30 – High School Day, 6-8 p.m. (Free general admission for ages 15-18).
  • Friday, Oct. 1 – Volkl/Becker Racquet Day, 6-8 p.m.

USTA Members Day ($10 off admission for all current USTA members)

  • Saturday, Oct. 2 – Super Semifinal Saturday; USTA Ladies League Luncheon.

For additional event and ticket information, please visit www.lexuslvopen.com

LAS VEGAS PAST CHAMPIONS

Singles

Year                Winner                                                Runner-up

2009                Regina Kulikova (RUS)                      Aniko Kapros (HUN)

2008                Camille Pin (FRA)                               Asia Muhammad (U.S.)

2007                Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)                 Akiko Morigami (JPN)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.)                           Hila Rosen (ISR)

Doubles

Year                Winner

2009                Aniko Kapros (HUN) – Agustina Lepore (ARG)

2008                Melinda Czink (HUN) – Renata Voracova (CZE)

2007                Victoria Azarenka (BLR) – Tatiana Poutchek (BLR)

1999                Erika de Lone (U.S.) – Annabel Ellwood (AUS)

PRIZE MONEY

SINGLES:                    Prize Money              Points

Winner                         $7,315                         70

Runner-up                   $3,990                         50

Semifinalist                 $2,185                         32

Quarterfinalist             $1,235                         18

Round of 16                $760                            10

Round of 32                $475                            1

DOUBLES:                Prize Money (per team)

Winner                         $2,660

Runner-up                   $1,425

Semifinalist                 $760

Quarterfinalist             $380

Round of 16                $285

USTA Pro Circuit

With 94 tournaments 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. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit for approximately $3.2 million in prize money and valuable ATP and WTA Tour ranking points. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jelena Jankovic are among the top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. The USTA Pro Circuit is world-class tennis administered on the local level and played on local tennis courts as part of the fabric of communities nationwide — an opportunity for current and new fans to experience the excitement and intensity of the professional game in their neighborhood.

Florida’s Andre Alexandre Lacroix Beats Kentucky’s Eric Quigley To Win Wild-Card Into Future USTA Event

ST. HELENA, Calif., (Sept. 26, 2010) – The NCAA meets USTA experiment was deemed a huge success by all the parties involved as the final day of the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic concluded at the Meadowood Resort on Sunday.

Florida senior Alexandre Lacroix started his morning beating U.S. Open champion and newly turned 18-year-old Jack Sock, 6-3, 6-1 and then mowed his way through the championship tiebreaker round beating Cal’s Nick Andrews, 10-3, and then taking out a pair of Kentucky players — Alex Musialek, 10-6, in the semifinals and Eric Quigley, 10-7, in the final, to win the 10th annual event which pitted four players from six top collegiate teams and eight top USTA juniors.

USTA Director of Men’s Tennis Jay Berger announced after the match that Lacroix would receive a USTA wild card into a future professional event. Lacroix was also honored with the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Award named in the memory of former Meadowood member Norma Miner.

“It was a great weekend for me,” Lacroix said. “It’s tough in those tiebreakers because not always the best player wins. I just tried to play smart and not make too many mistakes.”

After three days of round-robin play, the eight flight winners moved onto the quarterfinal tiebreaker round. Two USTA juniors advanced that far, including Mitchell Frank of Annandale, Va., who was the only junior on the weekend to win all three of his matches.

“You just kind of say a little prayer and hope you play well,” said Frank of the tiebreaker shootout in which he lost in the first round, 12-10, to Musialek. “It was a great weekend for me. I got some good experience and liked playing against the collegiate guys.”

USTA junior Alexios Halebian of Glendale, Calif., finished second in his flight, but advanced on to the tiebreaker shootout after Texas had to leave early. Halebian fell to Quigley 12-10 in his quarterfinal match. “I missed an easy forehand that would have given me a game-point,” Halebian said. “But what can you do? You just try and play it safe and not go for too much.”

Tournament Director Doug King said the Napa Valley event has been a huge success in the past and took a chance this year altering the format and inviting the USTA juniors. “We’ll tweak it a little bit if we think we can make it better in the future,” King said. “But all indications are it was a really great event. Everyone seemed happy.

“This is the highlight of the year for us. This is one of the premier events for the spectators and a little bit of a different venue then some of the players are used to. They get a little bit of a different flavor at an event like this.”

Marcos Giron of Thousand Oaks, Calif., was one of the day’s highlights for the USTA as he beat Florida’s Bob Van Overbeek, 7-5, 7-6 (5). He finished with two wins over the collegiates during the three days and just missed winning his flight.

In another tight match Sunday, USTA 15-year-old Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont, Calif., fell to USC’s JT Sundling (USC) in a three-set tiebreaker, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4).

Berger said Giron could have easily gone 3-0 as he was up a set and a break in his only loss, 6-4 in the third set to Musialek on Saturday. “This has overall been an incredible event,” Berger said. “It’s something if invited back we’ll do every year. The boys have taken it all in. They’ve competed hard and they’ve had a lot of success.

“We knew our olders players would do well and were a little concerned about our younger players, but they’ve all done well.”

USTA coach Ricardo Acuna agreed: “I think it’s a good environment to see what the next level is for them. I think they’ve done pretty well and still have a lot to learn. They’re young so this kind of opened their eyes a little bit on what they need to work on.”

USTA coach Jose Higueras said he hopes there will be more events featuring both collegiate players and the top juniors.

“We’re hoping to do this a couple of times during the year,” Higueras said. “I think it’s a great way for the USTA to deliver the message that we do care about college tennis and that we want to get some pros out of college tennis just like so many other sports do. Most of the kids are going to go to college. The percentage that turn pro is very, very small but at the same time just because you go to college doesn’t mean you can’t turn pro.”

DAY 3: Sunday’s Final Round-Robin Results

Note: Bold names moved onto tiebreaker shootout

Alex Musialek (Kentucky) def. Vasko Mladenov (Texas), 6-4, 6-2

Marcos Giron (USTA, Thousand Oaks, Calif.) def. Bob Van Overbeek (Florida), 7-5, 7-6 (5)

Jean Andersen (Texas) def. Alexios Halebian (USTA, Glendale, Calif.), 7-6 (3), 6-3*

Jaak Poldma (USC) def. David Holiner (Texas), 7-6 (3), 6-4

Sekou Bangoura (Florida) def. Mitchell Krueger (USTA, Aledo, Texas), 6-3, 4-6, 6-0

Ed Corrie (Texas) def. Bruno Abdelnour (Illinois), 6-4, 7-6 (4)*

Johnny Hamui (Illinois) def. Christoffer Konigsfeldt (Cal), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (5)

Eric Quigley (Kentucky) def. Raymond Sarmiento (USC), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 6-4

Anthony Rossi (Kentucky) def. Jonathan Dahan (Cal), 6-1, 7-5

Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. Nassim Slilam (Florida), wo, injury

Nick Andrews (Cal) def. Hunter Harrington (USTA, Spartanburg, S.C.), 6-3, 6-1

Alexandre Lacroix (Florida) def. Jack Sock (USTA, Lincoln, Neb.), 6-3, 6-1

Bjorn Fratangelo (USTA, Pittsburgh, Pa.) def. Carlos Cueto (Cal), wo, injury

Mitchell Frank (USTA, Annandale, Va.) def. Abe Souza (Illinois), 6-2, ret.

Dennis Nevolo (Illinois) def. Maks Gold (Kentucky), 6-1, 6-0

JT Sundling (USC) def. Mackenzie McDonald (USTA, Piedmont, Calif.), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4)

Note: Both Andersen and Corrie from Texas won their respective flights but had to leave early. Halebian and Andrews took their spots in the tiebreak tournament.

Championship Tiebreaker Round

Quarterfinals

Eric Quigley (Kentucky) def. Alexios Halebian (USTA, Glendale, Calif.), 11-9

Alex Musialek (Kentucky) def. Mitchell Frank (USTA, Annandale, Va.), 12-10

Dennis Nevolo (Illinois) def. Sekou Bangoura (Florida), 12-10

Alexandre Lacroix (Florida) def. Nick Andrews (Cal), 10-3

Semifinals

Eric Quigley (Kentucky) def. Dennis Nevolo (Illinois), 10-5

Alexandre Lacroix (Florida) def. Alex Musialek (Kentucky), 10-6

Final

Alexandre Lacroix (Florida) def. Eric Quigley (Kentucky), 10-7

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game.  A not-for-profit organization with 750,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game.  It owns and operates the US Open, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open.  In addition, it owns the 90-plus Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games.  USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, provides financial support for disadvantaged youth and people with disabilities through tennis and education programs.  For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.

The Djoker Is Not Foiled by the Great Fish Caper

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Mardy Fish reshaped his body and resculpted his game but couldn’t revise his past history with Novak Djokovic. Fish’s inspired run through this US Open Series came to a halt at the hands of Djokovic, who fried Fish, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 to advance to his sixth straight major quarterfinal at the US Open.

Worn out from a long summer in which he won back-to-back championships in Newport and Atlanta, producing a career-best 11-match winning streak in the process, and went on to reach the Cincinnati final, a flat Fish lacked both the energy and execution to pose problems for Djokovic.

“I tried to, you know, get to the net, tried to stay more, you know, be a little more aggressive towards the middle part of the match,” Fish said. “I had some chances.  I just didn’t execute, generally.  He played great.  He kicked my butt.  He played great.”

It was a match that was never much in doubt as Djokovic, who took the court with a 5-0 lifetime record against Fish, asserted his authority at the outset.

The third-seeded Serbian swept American wild card James Blake, 6-1, 7-6, 6-3, and wisely took the pro-Fish American crowd completely out of the match in surging out to a 4-1 lead.

Djokovic’s superior speed around the court and his ability to extend Fish in baseline exchanges were key components to the win. The 2007 US Open runner-up remains one of the best hard-court returners in the game and picked Fish apart in longer rallies.

“I was making him play an extra shot and I was using the court very well,” Djokovic said. “This (win) gives me a lot of confidence, definitely. It’s great to raise the level of my performance toward the end of the tournament. It’s been a great couple of years for me in New York so hopefully I can go on.”

Seeking his fourth consecutive trip to the US Open semifinals, Djokovic is a decided favorite against quarterfinal opponent Gael Monfils.

In an all-French fourth round meeting, the 17th-seeded Monfils broke Richard Gasquet mentally in scoring an entertaining 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 victory. Monfils saved a set point in the second set and roared back from a 3-5 deficit in the third set to send the fragile fellow Frenchman packing and become the first French quarterfinalist since Arnaud Clement in 2000.

“I tried to be very tough and hard with him, showing him that I’m the man and I’m the leader,” Monfils said of Gasquet. “So I think I try also to get him a bit in the head, to show him like I will be strong and he might hit a good shot, but it’s okay. For me it’s nothing. I will try to reach every ball and show him…if he come in I will be everywhere.”

The Djokovic-Monfils match pits two of the fastest, most charismatic, flamboyant and sometimes flakiest players in men’s tennis. They are two men who play as if empowered by the belief that no ball is beyond their reach which should create a highly entertaining match.

“Gael is very charismatic and very athletic,” Djokovic said. “He slides a lot and so do I so I guess there’s going to he a lot of sliding between him and me.”

Djokovic is 4-0 lifetime vs. Monfils, including a controversial 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(5), 0-6, 7-5 triumph in the 2005 US Open first round in which some spectators believed Djokovic resorted to gamesmanship in pulling a lengthy injury time out to rest and recover.

Their most recent encounter saw Djokovic outduel Monfils and silence the Parisian crowd in an explosively entertaining, 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(3), victory in the Paris Indoor final last November.

Master showman Monfils, who has entertained the New York City crowd with his electrifying shotmaking skills on the run, his expressiveness and even his impromptu post-match dance moves, is hoping he can work the crowd into a festive frenzy.

“I can get the crowd behind me,” Monfils said. “I know him perfectly. We had like always a tough match. And then, damn I had revenge to take it because he won against me at home in Bercy (Paris). So this time I hope to win.”

Rich Pagliaro is the editor of TennisNow.com.

Fourth Round Brings A Very Interesting Matchup

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Ana Ivanovic spent some of her US Open Series summer between the covers. An avid reader, Ivanovic was absorbed by Stieg Larsson’s  “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and today a fist-pumping Ivanovic looked liked the woman empowered by an inferno of intensity in a 7-5, 6-0 thrashing of 157th-ranked French wild card Virginie Razzano.

The victory vaults Ivanovic into a fourth-round showdown with reigning  champion Kim Clijsters in a match of former World No. 1 players.

Down a double break at 0-3 minutes into the match, Clijsters found her range and reeled off 12 consecutive games in pounding Petra Kvitova, 6-3, 6-0. It was Clijsters’17th consecutive US Open victory. She raied her record to 23-1 in her last four visits to Flushing Meadows.

“A match like this today probably gives me more satisfaction, because, you know, I beat a good player without even playing my best tennis,” Clijsters said. “There were moments in there that I was very satisfied with the way I was playing, and just overall the way I was moving, the way that I was serving. But then, yeah, it becomes kind of you become greedy in a way because you want it there, you want that to happen in every rally that you play in.”

The fourth round match is a rematch of the Cincinnati semifinals where Clijsters held a 2-1 lead when Ivanovic retired with a foot injury.

“Kim is a great player.  She hasn’t lost a match here in a long time.  So I can go out there and try to do my best,” Ivanovic said. “I’ve been playing really well.  It’s gonna be exciting no matter what. I think, you know, in some ways we have similar games.  It’s going to be a fun match, I think.”

On serve in the opening set, Ivanovic cracked a winner and then celebrated by unleashing a furious double fist pump that elicited an approving roar from the crowd. That explosion of positive emotion energized both Ivanovic and the crowd and was a physical sign of how far she’s come this season. During her long slump when she dropped out of the top 50, Ivanovic would often pull her adidas visor down over her face as if repulsed by her poor play.

Now, she’s playing with a positive posture, showing more conviction in both her shots and celebrations.

“It’s very important.  That’s something that I felt change over last few months,” Ivanovic said. “I became a lot more positive on the court.  Even if the things were not going my way, I still, you know, had a fist pump.  I still tried to bring a lot of energy on the court. That kind of, you know, helps also supporters get into the match more.  I felt that.  I’m, you know, sticking with it.”

Richard Pagliaro is the editor of TennisNow.com.

Ana On The Move Again

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Tennis is a numbers game, but Ana Ivanovic refuses to be defined by the digits next to her name. The former World No. 1 is not seeded in this US Open, but that hasn’t stopped her from surging into the third round for the first time in three years. Ivanovic stomped 21st-seeded Zheng Jie, 6-3, 6-0, in a commanding conquest and has a shot to go deeper in the draw with the departure of 13th-seeded Marion Bartoli.

In a match of French women, 157th-ranked wild card Virginie Razzano surprised former Wimbledon finalist Bartoli, 7-5, 6-4. It’s a break for Ivanovic, who will face Razzano rather than Bartoli. Two-handed terror Bartoli beat Ivanovic in straight sets in Stanford last month.

The 40th-ranked Ivanovic has surrendered just eight games in reaching the third round and is playing with much more confidence than she was two years ago when as World No. 1 she fell to 188th-ranked qualifier Julie Coin in Flushing Meadows.

“I think rankings obviously tell a lot about the player, but I think just the way you feel about your game at the time,” Ivanovic said. “I remember a couple years ago when I was here and I was saying, ‘Even though I’m No. 1, I don’t feel I’m playing as No. 1.’  Now I’m ranked,  I really don’t know what. But I feel like I’m playing like a top 10 player, you know, and I have confidence that I can beat these players.  That’s huge for me.”

She looked particularly pumped up for today’s rematch with Zheng and with good reason. Two years ago, the then 133rd-ranked Zheng became the third lowes-tranked player to defeat a World No. 1 when she pounded out a 6-1, 6-4 win over Ivanovic at Wimbledon.

This time around, Ivanovic played first-strike tennis in firing her forehand with ambition and accuracy.

The tennis treadmill seemed stuck in reverse for Ivanovic, who had won back-to-back matches at just three of the first 11 tournaments she played this season, reaching the semifinals at Brisbane in her first event of the season and advancing to the Rome semifinals in May.

With her confidence in tatters and game leaking errors, Ivanovic watched her ranking fall to No. 63 and was denied a Rogers Cup wild card as the tournament director publicly suggested she was not worthy of a wild card. That rebuke seemed to fire up Ivanovic and she surged to the Cincinnati semifinals last month.

Ivanovic played with a fearlessness on her ascent to the top of the tennis rankings and admits she played with the apprehension of a woman bearing the burden of trying to defend ranking points.

“I see myself also as two different persons,” Ivanovic said. “Once you’re actually coming up and you have no expectations, you are hungry for success, and you really don’t know what the stakes are.  You just go for it.  You have no fear.  You play freely against anyone you come up against.”

The pressure constricted Ivanovic’s competitive instincts and she broke down in tears after losses earlier this season.

“Once you actually get in a position to defend some points and there is more outside pressure coming in, it is a lot different story,” Ivanovic said. “Because even though you perceive yourself the same or maybe even better, if you’re improving, still there is a lot of outside effect. That creates some doubts and obviously pressure.  Everyone deals with it differently.  That’s what I feel it was the biggest change with me, is that I managed to sort of let go of this.”
Winning six of her last seven matches has been emotionally liberating for Ivanovic, who looks like a player no longer afraid of losing.

“Now I feel, you know, as I am just coming up again, and I have really nothing to lose.  I got that joy of competing again,” Ivanovic said.

Rich Pagliaro is the editor of TennisNow.com.