| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo credit: Craig Glover

The USTA has announced that Redfoo of the music group LMFAO and “Heroes” TV star Sendhil Ramamurthy have both entered the 2013 U.S. Open National Playoffs, which provides the opportunity for all players 14 years of age and older to earn a berth into the U.S. Open. Redfoo has entered the USTA Northern California Sectional Qualifying Tournament in Salinas, Calif., June 18-23. Ramamurthy has entered the USTA Eastern Sectional Qualifying Tournament, held at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center at the home of the U.S. Open, June 9-15. Both celebrities will compete in singles and mixed-doubles.

Redfoo is a rapper, dancer and DJ, best known as part of the musical duo LMFAO, whose hit “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It” dominated the music charts. Redfoo, who formed LMFAO in 2006, is set to release his first solo album this year. The multi-talented artist is also involved with tennis in a variety of ways—as a player, a fan, a coach, and a tournament sponsor. Redfoo played tennis as a junior and has recently been seen as a spectator at many of the Grand Slam tournaments. Redfoo also sponsored a USTA Pro Circuit women’s event last September, titled “The Party Rock Open” after his Party Rock clothing line, which was won by young American Lauren Davis. Redfoo, who is entered under his given name Stefan Gordy, will be playing singles and mixed doubles with 17-year-old Ayaka Okuno, who he is currently coaching. Okuno is ranked a career-high No. 28 in the ITF World Junior Rankings.

“As a kid, it's always been a dream of mine to play professional tennis,” said Redfoo. “Thanks to the US Open National Playoffs for giving good players with a dream the chance to qualify for one of the biggest tournaments—the US Open. Every day I see my dream!”

Ramamurthy was a competitive junior tennis player in Texas who always had dreams of going pro, but fell back on his safety profession—acting. Perhaps best known for playing Dr. Mohinder Suresh on NBC's “Heroes,” Ramamurthy also co-starred on “Covert Affairs,” “The Office,” and in the current “Beauty and the Beast” on the CW, where he made his debut on the show yesterday. In film, his feature credits include the independents SHOR, BRAHMIN BULLS and THE LIFEGUARD.

“I’m psyched to compete in this year's U.S. Open National Playoffs,” said Ramamurthy. “Since I was a young player, I always dreamed of snagging a spot at the Open. I am also excited to play on the grounds of the U.S. Open, where all of the action happens and where there is so much U.S. Open history.”

Other celebrities and personalities who have competed in the US Open National Playoffs include Olympic skier Bode Miller, former Major League baseball player Todd Walker, and ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, who teamed with six-time US Open champion Chris Evert in mixed-doubles.

The U.S. Open National Playoffs begin as a series of sectional qualifying tournaments and will be held in 13 USTA Sections throughout the country. The 13 men’s, women’s and mixed-doubles champions or top available finishers from each sectional qualifying tournament will advance to the U.S. Open National Playoffs–Men’s and Women’s Singles and Mixed-Doubles Championship. All three championships will be held in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara, an Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series event. 

The U.S. Open National Playoffs men’s and women’s singles champions earn a wild card into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held the week prior to the US Open. The US Open National Playoffs mixed doubles champions receive a wild card into the main draw of the 2013 US Open.