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 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.
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Tournament Co-Directors: Tyler Weekes tyler@CourtThink.com
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Tournament Press Contact: Steve Pratt 310.408.4555, Sprattt@aol.com
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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.