August 18th, 2015

Tennis Briefs(3): Attend the US Open for Free, Wild Cards Announced, More

General News Youth Tennis News

Free US Open Admission on 2nd Thursday

2010 US Open;Women's Final;Pre Ceremony

Free admission day at the US Open? Come on down!

Tennis fans can receive free admission to the grounds of the US Open on the second Thursday of the event this year to catch pro action around the grounds, in addition to taking in the second-year action of the USTA American Collegiate Invitational.

The American Collegiate Invitational features the top American collegiate tennis players facing off for a potential wild card into the 2016 US Open or 2016 US Open Qualifying Tournament. In last year’s finals, University of North Carolina sophomore Jamie Loeb beat Virginia junior Julia Elbaba in the women’s final, and Marcos Giron of UCLA beat Peter Kobelt of Ohio State in the men’s final.

Other events occurring around the grounds that day will include semifinal action in men’s and women’s doubles, as well as junior and wheelchair competition and the semifinals of the Champions Invitational, a showcase of previous Grand Slam legends.

Fans in the evening can watch the women’s singles semifinals on the video screens throughout the grounds, or purchase a stadium ticket to watch live.

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Florida Jr. Profile: Boca Raton’s Alexandre Rotsaert

By Colette Lewis, USTA Florida junior tennis columnist,

RotsaertUSTAFlaAlexandre Rotsaert’s first trip to Kalamazoo in 2014 ended prematurely, when a back injury forced him to retire in the second round at the USTA Boys’ 16s National Hard Courts. The Boca Raton resident made up for it this year, reaching the 16s final and earning a USTA silver ball, his second of the summer.

In July, Rotsaert was given a wild card into the 18s division of the USTA Clay Court Championships in Delray Beach, and although an alphabetical 17-32 seed, he reached the final before falling to top seed Sam Riffice 7-6(5), 6-3.

Playing the 16s division in Kalamazoo, again with the assistance of a USTA wild card, Rotsaert was seeded No. 4, and he didn’t drop a set until the quarterfinals. There, in a meeting with No. 5 seed Sean Sculley, Rotsaert was down a set and a break before storming back for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory. He advanced to the final with a straight-set win over No. 8 seed Kyrylo Tsygura, before dropping the championship match to No. 3 seed Patrick Kypson 6-3, 6-3.

Rotsaert, who will turn 16 in October, has no difficulty pinpointing the source of his recent success: new coach Hafeez Hameed.

“He’s from London, England,” Rotsaert said. “I lived in England for four or five years and he played tennis with my dad. He hasn’t really coached ever before, he was more in the corporate world. My dad basically asked him to help me out, and actually it’s been a dream come true, to be honest. He’s helped me so much the last couple of months, I couldn’t thank him enough.”

Hameed and Rotsaert train primarily at The Oaks, where Rotsaert lives, and also at the USTA’s National Center nearby. Their partnership, which began this spring, has yielded two ITF singles titles in addition to the two appearances in USTA National Championship matches, with Rotsaert making use of written tips to cope with the big stages he’s found himself on.

“My coach tries to get me to forget about the past and look to the future,” Rotsaert said. “I have my notes, a game plan in my bag, so I can always go back on a changeover to find positive little things for me. I try to focus on the next point and keep a growth mindset, stay positive the whole time and get better for the future.”

Rotsaert’s success in ITF events has boosted his world ranking to the point where he’s received entry into the upcoming Grade 1 events in Maryland and Canada. Although disappointed in the outcome of the Kalamazoo final, Rotsaert recognizes the valuable experience he’s gained this summer.

“Overall it was good, and I’ll take confidence from this,” Rotsaert said. “I’ll take that confidence into my next tournaments.”

Florida’s Kenin, Krajicek, Vickery Awarded US Open Wild Cards

Girls' 18s USTA Nationals winner Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla.

Girls’ 18s USTA Nationals winner Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla.

The USTA today announced that three Floridians — 2015 USTA Girls’ 18s National Champion Sofia Kenin, former Texas A&M All-American Austin Krajicek, and 2013 USTA Girls’ 18s National Champion Sachia Vickery — have been awarded wild cards into the main draw of the 2015 US Open.

The 16-year-old Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., is a Top 10 world-ranked junior who won the prestigious Orange Bowl Junior Championship in December. The 25-year-old Krajicek of Tampa is ranked No. 113 after advancing to the final at the USTA Pro Circuit $100,000 Challenger in Aptos, Calif., last week and finishing second in the USTA US Open Wild Card Challenge. The 20-year-old Vickery of Hollywood, Fla., is currently ranked No. 137 after a grass-court season in which she qualified for Wimbledon and reached the quarterfinals at the WTA event in Nottingham.

Other US Open women’s main draw wild cards went to Americans Louisa Chirico, Samantha Crawford, Nicole Gibbs, Jamie Loeb, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and Oceane Dodin of France.

Women’s qualifying wild cards were awarded to Robin Anderson (22, Matawan, N.J.), Usue Arconada (16, College Park, Md.), Tornado Alicia Black (17, Boca Raton, Fla.), Vicky Duval (19, Bradenton, Fla.), Raveena Kingsley (17, Fulton, Md.), Claire Liu (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Jessica Pegula (21, Buffalo, N.Y.), and Bernarda Pera (20, North Haledon, N.J.). One additional US Open qualifying wild card will be awarded to the winner of the 2015 US Open National Playoffs Women’s Championship, taking place Aug. 21-24 in New Haven, Conn.

Other US Open men’s main draw wild cards went to Jared Donaldson, USTA US Open Wild Card Challenge winner Bjorn Fratangelo, Ryan Harrison, Ryan Shane, and Frances Tiafoe, along with Aussie former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt and Pierre-Hughes Herbert of France.

Men’s qualifying wild cards were awarded to Taylor Fritz (17, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), Stefan Kozlov (17, Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Mitchell Krueger (21, Fort Worth, Texas), Marcos Giron (22, Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Michael Mmoh (17, Bradenton, Fla.), Reilly Opelka (17, Palm Coast, Fla.), Tommy Paul (18, Greenville, N.C.), and Noah Rubin (19, Rockville Centre, N.Y.).

The 2015 US Open will be played Aug. 31-Sept. 13 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Both the men’ and women’s singles champions this year will earn $3.3 million, with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money based on their performances in the Emirates Airline US Open Series.

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