The USTA has announced the eight women and men who have been awarded singles main draw wild card entries into the 2012 U.S. Open. The eight wild card recipients for the women include: Bethanie Mattek-Sands and 2009 U.S. Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin, both members of the U.S. Fed Cup team, 2012 NCAA singles champion Nicole Gibbs, 2012 NCAA singles runner-up Mallory Burdette, USTA Girls’ 18s champion Victoria Duval, and Julia Cohen, along with Australia’s Casey Dellacqua and France’s Kristina Mladenovic.
On the men's side of the draw, 2001 U.S. Open champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, along with two-time U.S. Open quarterfinalist James Blake and reigning NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson have been awarded men’s singles main draw wild card entries as well. Other Americans receiving wild card entries include 2010 U.S. Open boys singles champion Jack Sock, 2010 U.S. Open boys’ singles finalist Denis Kudla, 2012 USTA Boys 18s singles champion Dennis Novikov, and current world number 100-ranked Rajeev Ram. France’s Guillaume Rufin will also receive a wild card.
Blake, 32, of Tampa, Fla., reached the quarterfinals of the 2005 U.S. Open as a wild card, upsetting Rafael Nadal before losing to Andre Agassi in a five-set thriller. Blake peaked at No. 4 in the world in 2006 and again reached the quarterfinals of the 2006 US Open and the final of the year-end Tennis Masters Cup. He has captured 10 ATP World Tour singles titles and holds a 21-12 career record (18-11 in singles) for the U.S. in Davis Cup, and was a member of the 2007 championship team.
Burdette, 21, of Jackson, Ga., earned a wild card from USTA Player Development based on her USTA Pro Circuit results this summer. This year, the USTA awarded one US Open women’s singles wild card to the American who earned the most WTA ranking points at two of three USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events. Burdette, a rising senior for Stanford, captured the 2012 NCAA doubles title with Gibbs and the 2011 title with Hilary Barte. Burdette and Gibbs also faced off in the 2012 NCAA singles final. It was the first all-Stanford final since 2001. Last month, Burdette won her first WTA match at the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Stanford, Calif.
Cohen, 23, of Philadelphia, will play in her first-ever U.S. Open main draw after advancing to her first career WTA Tour final in Baku, Azerbaijan, last month. Cohen earned All-America honors as a sophomore at the University of Miami (Fla.) and took home ITA Rookie of the Year honors as a freshman at the University of Florida. She has extensively competed on the USTA Pro Circuit and ITF Circuit over the last three years.
Duval, 16, of Bradenton, Fla., earned a U.S. Open wild card by winning the USTA Girls 18 National Championships, knocking off five top 10 seeds. At the 2011 U.S. Open, she defeated the defending champion Daria Gavrilova en route to the girls singles quarterfinals. Duval formerly trained at the USTA Certified Regional Training Center in Atlanta, and members of the club helped save her father, a doctor in Port-au-Prince, who was injured in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She is currently working with USTA coach Kathy Rinaldi.
Gibbs, 19, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., won the 2012 NCAA singles and doubles titles as a sophomore at Stanford, becoming just the third woman in NCAA history to accomplish that feat. On the professional level, Gibbs qualified for and won the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Denver in her first pro event of the year. She appeared in U.S. Open qualifying in 2010 and 2011, earning wild cards each year as USTA Girls 18s runner-up.
Hewitt, 31, of Adelaide, Australia, received his wild card through a reciprocal arrangement with Tennis Australia, which grants a men’s singles main draw wild card into the 2013 Australian Open to a player designated by the USTA. He is a former world number one and the winner of 28 career singles titles, including the 2001 US Open and 2002 Wimbledon.
Johnson, 22, of Orange, Calif., earned a wild card based on USTA Pro Circuit results; this year, the USTA awarded one US Open men’s singles wild card to the American who earned the most ATP ranking points at two of four USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events. In his final season at USC this year, Johnson went undefeated in singles to claim his second straight NCAA singles title and also led USC to its fourth team title in his four years at the school. Last year, Johnson pushed Top 50 player Alex Bogomolov to five sets in the first round of the US Open as a wild card. Johnson is currently ranked a career-high 237th in the world.
Kudla, 20, of Arlington, Va., started 2012 by qualifying for the Australian Open—his Grand Slam main draw debut—and reached the second rounds of the ATP events in San Jose and Indian Wells. He reached the 2010 US Open boys’ singles final (losing to Sock) and rose to number three in the world junior rankings. The Ukrainian-born Kudla is a two-time practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team and peaked at 160th in the world this month.
Mattek-Sands, 27, of Phoenix, Ariz., reached a career-high ranking of 30th in 2011, but missed the fall 2011 season with a rotator cuff injury. Mattek-Sands represented the U.S. in Fed Cup from 2009 to 2011 and helped lead the U.S. to the Fed Cup final in 2009 and 2010. She has played in 11 consecutive U.S. Opens dating back to 2001. She has won 10 career WTA doubles titles, and this year she won the 2012 Australian Open mixed-doubles title with Romanian Horia Tecau.
Oudin, 20, of Marietta, Ga., won her first career WTA title at the Wimbledon tune-up event in Birmingham this year, where she won eight matches as a qualifier. Also, she earned a 2012 USTA French Open wild card based on her results at USTA Pro Circuit events this spring. Oudin has had much success at the Open, advancing to the quarterfinals in 2009 and claiming the mixed doubles title in 2011 with Jack Sock. Oudin has been a consistent force on the U.S. Fed Cup team, playing in seven ties. She trains full-time at the USTA Training Center-East in Flushing, N.Y., at the home of the U.S. Open.
Dellacqua, 27, of Perth, Australia, received her wild card through a reciprocal arrangement with Tennis Australia, which grants a women’s singles main draw wild card into the 2013 Australian Open to a player designated by the USTA. She achieved a career-high ranking of 39th in 2008, and reached the fourth round of that year’s Australian Open, her best showing at a Grand Slam event. Dellacqua won the 2011 French Open mixed doubles title and she also received a 2011 U.S. Open wild card.
Mladenovic, 19, of Saint Pol sue Mer, France, received her wild card through a reciprocal arrangement with the French Tennis Federation, which granted a wild card into the 2012 French Open to a player designated by the USTA (Oudin earned the 2012 USTA French Open wild card through the USTA Pro Circuit tournament-based system this year). In 2009, Mladenovic won the French Open girls’ singles title and advanced to both the singles and doubles girls’ finals at Wimbledon. In turn, she became the No. 1-ranked junior in the world. Mladenovic played for France in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Novikov, 18, of San Jose, Calif., earned his U.S. Open wild card by winning the USTA Boys 18s National Championships, and he also won the USTA Boys 18s doubles title (with Michael Redlicki) to secure a wild card into the U.S. Open doubles main draw. The Russian-born Novikov reached the boys singles quarterfinals at the 2010 U.S. Open and has been playing primarily on the USTA Pro Circuit, reaching the quarterfinals of the Futures in Rochester, N.Y., in July. He will play for UCLA this fall.
Ram, 28, of Carmel, Ind., is ranked 100th in the world and reached two ATP semifinals this summer at the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series event in Los Angeles and the grass-court event in Newport, R.I. Ram owns six ATP doubles crown and is one of the most accomplished players in USTA Pro Circuit history, with seven singles finals appearances (two titles) and 22 doubles titles, which is second all-time. Ram also helped the University of Illinois to an undefeated season and NCAA team title in 2003.
Rufin, 22, of Charnay, France, received his wild card through a reciprocal arrangement with the French Tennis Federation, which granted a wild card into the 2012 French Open to a player designated by the USTA (Brian Baker earned the 2012 USTA French Open wild card through the USTA Pro Circuit tournament-based system this year). Rufin is currently ranked a career-high 127. He qualified for and reached the second round of Wimbledon this year.
Sock, 19, of Lincoln, Neb., won the 2010 U.S. Open boys singles title, becoming the first American to win the title since Andy Roddick in 2000. Sock earned US Open main draw wild cards in 2010 and 2011 by winning the USTA Boys 18 National Championships. Last year, he became the first reigning USTA Boys’ 18s winner in 15 years to win a round at the US Open; he fell to Roddick in the second round. Also last year, Sock captured the U.S. Open mixed-doubles title with Melanie Oudin.
In addition to the US Open women’s singles main draw wild cards, the USTA also announced eight women who have been awarded wild card entries into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which will be held August 21-24 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. One additional US Open qualifying wild card will be awarded to the winner of the 2012 US Open National Playoffs – Women’s Championship, taking place August 17-20 in New Haven, Conn.
Players receiving 2012 U.S. Open women's qualifying wild cards are: 2012 Easter Bowl singles finalist Brooke Austin (16, Indianapolis), who also represented the U.S. in Junior Fed Cup this year; 2008 Orange Bowl champion Julia Boserup (20, Boca Raton, Fla.); Gail Brodsky (21, Brooklyn, N.Y.), who trains at the USTA Training Center-East at the home of the US Open and won the 2008 USTA Girls’ 18s title; 2012 Easter Bowl and USTA Girls’ 18s doubles champion Samantha Crawford (17, Tamarac, Fla.); 2012 USTA Girls’ 18s singles runner-up and doubles champion Alexandra Kiick (17, Plantation, Fla.), the daughter of former Miami Dolphin Jim Kiick; 2010 USTA Girls’ 18s singles champion Shelby Rogers (19, Charleston, S.C.); world No. 9 junior Chalena Scholl (16, Pompano Beach, Fla.); and Ashley Weinhold (23, Spicewood, Texas), the 2007 USTA Girls’ 18s national champion.
Players receiving 2012 U.S. Open qualifying men's wild cards are: 2009 US Open boys’ singles finalist Chase Buchanan (21, Columbus, Ohio), the 2012 NCAA doubles champion, who completed his senior year at Ohio State; 2012 USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships runner-up Alexios Halebian (18, Hollywood, Calif.); Christian Harrison (18, of Shreveport, La.), who reached the quarterfinals or better of five USTA Pro Circuit events this year, including the $50,000 Challenger in Lexington, Ky., and is the younger brother of U.S. Davis Cupper and Olympian Ryan Harrison; Bradley Klahn (21, Poway, Calif.), the 2010 NCAA men’s singles champion who just completed his senior year at Stanford; Daniel Kosakowski (20, Huntington Park, Calif.), who turned professional last year after his freshman year at UCLA; Mitchell Krueger (18, Fort Worth, Texas), who advanced to the boys’ singles semifinals at both the French Open and Wimbledon this year; and two former University of Tennessee All-Americans who both turned pro last summer – Tennys Sandgren (21, Gallatin, Tenn.), who has won three USTA Pro Circuit titles this year; and 2011 NCAA men’s singles runner-up Rhyne Williams (21, Knoxville, Tenn.), who went 12-3 in singles in a string of ITF Circuit events in Europe this spring.
The 2012 U.S. Open will be played Aug. 27-Sept. 9 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Both the men’s and women’s U.S. Open singles champions will earn a record $1.9 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.9 million potential payout) based on their performances in the Emirates Airline US Open Series. The U.S. Open Women’s Singles Championship is presented by JPMorgan Chase.