Two US Open National Playoffs Sectional Qualifying Tournaments were completed last week, with the USTA Hawaii-Pacific in Waipahu, Hawaii, and USTA Midwest in Cincinnati, Ohio, advancing two men and two women to the US Open National Playoffs – Men's and Women's Championships in Atlanta (men) and Stanford, Calif., (women).
Highlights from the USTA Hawaii-Pacific tournament included the match featuring one of the biggest names competing in the US Open National Playoffs – Olympic skier Bode Miller. Miller, a former Maine state singles tennis champion and the most decorated men's alpine skier in U.S. history, faced Erik S. Nelson-Kortland, 31, of Marina del Rey, Calif., falling, 6-4, 6-2. Nelson-Kortland, who formerly played for Sacramento State, reached the final of the tournament before losing to Ikaika Jobe, 27, of Oahu, 6-3, 6-3. Jobe formerly played for Boise State University and has a relative who competes on the PGA Tour. Current USTA Pro Circuit player and 1998 Easter Bowl finalist Maureen Diaz, 28, of Glendale, Calif., cruised through the women's draw, losing just 12 games in four matches to win the women's title.
Highlights from the USTA Midwest Sectional Qualifying Tournament included a women's final featuring the two youngest competitors and the only two competitors from Canada. Evangeline Repic, of Oakville, Ontario, defeated fellow Ontario native Erin Routliffe, 6-1, 7-5, in the women's final. Repic, just 37 days younger than Routliffe, reached the semifinals at the All Canadian Junior Tennis Championships in April, and in 2009 was a member of the Canadian team that qualified for the ITF World Junior Tennis Competition (14-and-under). Eric Quigley, 21, of Pewee Valley, Ky., dropped 11 games in five matches en route to the men's title, defeating Kyle Collette, 21, of Findlay, Ohio, 6-2, 6-2, in the final. Quigley recently completed his sophomore season at the University of Kentucky and was named an All-American in both singles and doubles.
This week's events:
The next four US Open National Playoffs Sectional Qualifying Tournaments will be hosted by USTA Middle States, in West Windsor, N.J., June 11-15; USTA Southern, in Norcross, Ga., June 12-16; USTA Northern, in Sartell, Minn., June 14-20; and USTA Intermountain in Denver, June 16-20.
Players competing in the USTA Middle States Sectional Qualifying Tournament include:
- David Haggerty, of Pennington, N.J., the CEO of Head USA, President of Penn Racquet Sports and a member of the USTA Board of Directors (Vice President); he serves as President of the TIA Executive Committee and was named the 2008 Person of the Year by the Racquet Sports Industry
- John Clark, of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., a sports anchor for NBC10 in Philadelphia
- Jordan Cruz, 18, of Manasquan, N.J., a 6-foot-7 player who just completed his freshman year at the College of New Jersey
- Eric Goll, 31, of Tinton Falls, N.J., a chemistry professor who plays in USTA Leagues
- Richard Livolsi, 31, of Bloomfield, N.J., a professional poker player
- Regan Ryzuk, 55, of Mt. Arlington, N.J., an accomplished American composer and pianist
- Alexandra Mueller, 22, of Abington, Pa., who is ranked No. 465 in the WTA Tour rankings and who swept the singles and doubles titles at the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit women's event in Landisville, Pa., last month
- Millie Didio, 45, of New York, who despite her age, still competes in qualifying draws of USTA Pro Circuit women's events; she competed in three events in 2009-10
- Michelle Gbelama, 22, of Trenton, N.J., who was introduced to tennis through the NJTL of Trenton tennis program and received the inaugural Jack Geisel Scholarship given to an NJTLT participant
Players competing in the USTA Southern Sectional Qualifying Tournament include:
- Austin Smith, of Cumming, Ga., the boyfriend of Melanie Oudin, who won an ITF junior event in Atlanta last year
- Candy Reid, of Norcross, Ga., who works for CNN International and formerly played for the University of Tennessee
- Alison Falkin, of Roswell, Ga., who is ranked No. 18 in the USTA Southern Girls' 18s
Players competing in the USTA Northern Sectional Qualifying Tournament include:
- Brandon Jackson, of Minneapolis, a recent college graduate who was the USTA Tennis on Campus President for the University of Minnesota
- Courtney Dolehide, 18, of Hinsdale, Ill., a UCLA recruit, who is currently ranked No. 453 in the WTA Tour rankings and won her first pro final last year at the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Wichita, Kan.; she was also featured on ESPNRise.com, an ESPN website celebrating high school athletics
Players competing in the USTA Intermountain Sectional Qualifying Tournament include:
- Jessica Pegula, 16, of Boca Raton, Fla., who is ranked No. 76 in the ITF Junior Rankings and has won junior ITF-level tournaments in Costa Rica and Hong Kong