Saturday, August 21, 2010
The USTA announced that the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be held August 24-27 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the site of the 2010 US Open. The tournament, which offers $1 million in prize money, is free and open to the public with play beginning daily at 11 a.m. It will feature a men's and women's draw of 128 players each, with 16 men and 16 women advancing to the main draw of the US Open, held August 30-September 12.
Players scheduled to compete in this year's qualifying run the gamut from former Grand Slam doubles champions to an Olympic gold medal winner to mothers to rising juniors looking for a chance on one of tennis' biggest stages.
The field is also expected to include the winners of the inaugural US Open National Playoffs, which gave anyone age 14 and over the opportunity to receive a wild card into the 2010 US Open Qualifying Tournament. Blake Strode, 23, of St. Louis, who won the Men's Championship, deferred Harvard Law School in 2009 to pursue a professional tennis career and competed in the 2009 US Open Qualifying Tournament, where he lost in the first round. He grew into tennis as a member of his local National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapter in Ferguson, Mo., and developed into an All-American for the University of Arkansas, where he was also a two-time SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.