The USTA has announced the three men and two women nominated to represent the United States at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, held Oct. 17-22. Christina McHale and Irina Falconi, who both had their best finish at this years 2011 U.S. Open each reaching the third round, will be joined by Denis Kudla, Nicholas Monroe and Greg Ouellette. Sloane Stephens was also nominated to represent the U.S., but was forced to withdraw due to injury.
The players will compete in men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles. USTA National Coaches Tom Gullikson and Dustin Taylor will coach the women’s and men’s teams, respectively.
►Irina Falconi, 21, of Atlanta, upset world number 15 Dominika Cibulkova en route to the third round at the 2011 U.S. Open and achieved a career-high ranking of 74th after the event. Earlier this summer, she had her best finish at a WTA event when she reached the semifinals in College Park, Md. She has played in the main draw of all four Grand Slam events, and last year became just the 10th qualifying wild card to reach the main draw at the U.S. Open. Falconi was a two-time All American at Georgia Tech, and was the 2010 Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s National College Player of the Year.
►Christina McHale, 19, of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., upset world number one Caroline Wozniacki at the Western & Southern Open, an Olympus U.S. Open Series event in Cincinnati, and beat world number nine Marion Bartoli in the second round of the U.S. Open. She became the youngest player in the WTA Top 100 earlier this year after she reached the third round at Indian Wells, and she is currently the second-highest ranked American at 51 after reaching a career-high of 45 following the 2011 U.S. Open. McHale, the 2009 USTA Girls 18s National Champion, trained full-time at the USTA Training Center-Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., for three years and currently trains at the USTA Training Center-East at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
►Denis Kudla, 19, of Arlington, Va., had his career-best showing on the ATP World Tour in July when he reached the quarterfinals at the grass-court Campbell’s Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, R.I. A standout junior, Kudla reached the boys’ singles final of the 2010 U.S. Open, where he lost to compatriot Jack Sock. He rose to number three in the world junior rankings in 2010 and subsequently moved onto the USTA Pro Circuit, where he won his first professional title at the USTA Pro Circuit Futures in Austin, Texas. Kudla was named a U.S. Davis Cup practice partner for the 2010 first round tie in Serbia, and he is currently 303rd on the ATP World Tour.
►Nicholas Monroe, 29, of Chapel Hill, N.C., has had a strong USTA Pro Circuit this season, winning his first USTA Pro Circuit title since 2007 at the $15,000 Futures in Brownsville, Texas, and capturing his seventh doubles title. Also this year, he has competed overseas in China, Great Britain, and India, and played in the Wimbledon tune-up event at the Queens Club in London. As a collegian, Monroe was a two-time All-American at the University of North Carolina (2003-04), and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament in 2004. He is currently 260th on the ATP World Tour.
►Greg Ouellette, 25, of Ormond Beach, Fla., had the best season of his career in 2010, winning his first USTA Pro Circuit singles title at the Peoria (Ill.) Futures, and advancing to two additional singles finals. He also reached the singles final at three consecutive Futures events in Venezuela, winning two. This year, Ouellette advanced to the singles semifinals and won the doubles title at the Futures in Brownsville, Texas, and also reached the singles quarterfinals of a Challenger in Canada. Currently ranked 280th on the ATP World Tour, Ouellette was a four-time All-American for the University of Florida and peaked at number two in the ITA Division I collegiate rankings during his senior year in 2008.
The Pan Am Games are held every four years in the year immediately prior to the Olympic Games, and tennis has been contested at the Pan American Games since the event’s inception in 1951.