USTA today announced that the US Open will feature a college tennis competition for the first time ever in 2014, inviting top American college players to compete in the inaugural American Collegiate Invitational September 4-6 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
Eight men and eight women will be invited to play in a singles tournament during the second week of the US Open, with the winners receiving a wild card into a future pro event. The Invitational is open only to American players, using the objective selection criteria listed below.
“College tennis plays such a significant role in the vitality of American tennis, and it’s important that we are able to highlight some of America’s best college players on a worldwide stage at the US Open,” said USTA Chairman, CEO and President Dave Haggerty.
The men’s and women’s fields will include six players who are still in college and two who have exhausted their college eligibility this year, as determined by the following criteria:
The six members of the USTA Collegiate Team, who are selected based on results, Intercollegiate Tennis Association honors and pro rankings.
The top two graduating seniors or the top two players who turned professional / have exhausted their college eligibility in 2013-14, according to the ITA’s final singles rankings.
If the top two players who have exhausted their college eligibility are already on the USTA Collegiate Team, or if the six spots reserved for players still in college have not been filled, invitations will be extended based on the ITA’s final singles rankings.
“We are excited to make college tennis a bigger part of the US Open,” said US Open Tournament Director David Brewer. “Many collegians continue on to successful pro careers, so we look forward to showcasing some very talented players.”
USTA and College Tennis: The USTA continues to support college tennis at both the varsity and recreational levels, serving as the title sponsor of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, along with the fall series of USTA/ITA Small College, Wheelchair and Regional Championships, involving more than 8,000 players annually. The USTA also helped develop and continues to sponsor the USTA Tennis On Campus program, which features more than 35,000 players on 600-plus college campuses nationwide competing in intramural and coed club play. The USTA also names its annual Collegiate Team, designed to provide top American college players with valuable exposure to the USTA Pro Circuit in a team-oriented environment year-round. Current pros who were members of prior USTA Collegiate Teams include: Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, John Isner, Steve Johnson, Mallory Burdette, Nicole Gibbs and Irina Falconi.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 750,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline US Open Series linking eight summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 90-plus Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA philanthropic entity, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and helps underserved youth and people with disabilities. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com, “like” the official Facebook page facebook.com/usta or follow @usta on Twitter.