The USTA announced recently that rising American stars Ryan Harrison and U.S. Fed Cup team member Coco Vandeweghe are among the initial players invited to compete at the USTA's 2010 Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs, sponsored by VocalCloud, which will be held for the second straight year at the Racquet Club of the South, a USTA Certified Regional Training Center in Atlanta, December 17-19.
The event will also feature an exhibition match on Friday, December 17, that will be played in a World TeamTennis format.
Eight men and eight women will compete in the wild card playoffs. The USTA secured the opportunity through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia where the two national tennis federations exchange wild cards for the 2010 US Open and the 2011 Australian Open.
Harrison and Vandeweghe won last year's events to earn main draw wild cards into the 2010 Australian Open.
"Our philosophy is based on having our top emerging players improve through competition, and the wild card playoffs allow these players to earn the opportunity to compete at the highest levels of the sport," said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development. "We are also very excited to return to the Racquet Club of the South and the city of Atlanta. The support for the event last year was tremendous."
Six men have been offered a spot in the tournament: Jordan Cox (Duluth, Ga.), Harrison (Bradenton, Fla.), Denis Kudla (Arlington, Va.), Tim Smyczek (Milwaukee, Wis.), Jack Sock (Lincoln, Neb.) and Donald Young (Atlanta)
The four women invited to compete are: Jamie Hampton (Auburn, Ala.), Christina McHale (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), Alison Riske (McMurray, Pa.) and Vandeweghe (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)
The final fields for the wild card playoffs will be determined in the upcoming weeks.
For tickets and more information, go to www.australianwildcard.com.
To get started playing tennis in a location near you visit the USTA's Tennis Welcome Center . Find more tennis technique information at the USTA Player Development Web site .