| By USTA Eastern Section

The USTA has announced that Katerina Sevcikova and Nikita Kryvonos won the USTA Eastern Sectional Qualifying Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the first of 16 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments that will comprise the U.S. Open National Playoffs.

The U.S. Open National Playoffs will expand the footprint of the U.S. Open and provide the opportunity for all players 14 years of age and older to earn a wild card into the 2010 U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament. Sevcikova and Kryvonos now advance to the U.S. Open National Playoffs--Men’s and Women’s Championships, which will be held in conjunction with Olympus U.S. Open Series in Atlanta and Stanford, Calif.

“We are extremely happy with the enthusiasm and the level of competition that was displayed at for this first Sectional Qualifying Tournament,” said Lucy Garvin, chairman of the board and president, USTA. “This last week of play at the home of the U.S. Open demonstrates that Americans nationwide are excited about the opportunity to play their way into their country’s premier tennis event.”

Sevcikova, a 28-year-old from Yonkers, N.Y., defeated Nikola Hubnerova, 30, from Syosset, N.Y., 6-3, 5-2, ret., to win the women’s draw. Sevcikova, who was born in the Czech Republic and played collegiately at the University of Missouri, competed on the USTA Pro Circuit from 2008-09 and currently serves as a Senior Tennis Professional at the Grand Slam Health & Tennis Club in Bedford, N.Y.

“I grew up watching the U.S. Open and try to attend every year,” said Sevcikova. “To now have the opportunity to play my way into the U.S. Open is truly a dream come true.”

In the men’s draw, Nikita Kryvonos, 23, of Flushing, NY defeated Cliff Nguyen, 28, of Vienna, Va. 6-0, 6-4. Kryvonos contracted a staph infection at age 16 following leg surgery, but recovered to become ranked as high as number 389th in the world by playing on the USTA Pro Circuit. He won a USTA Pro Circuit Futures in Irvine, Calif., in 2007 and also competed in the 2007 U.S. Open Qualifying Draw.

“It has always been my dream to play in the U.S. Open, and I am going to fight for it,” said Kryvonos.

From May 15-23, five more Sectional Qualifying Tournaments will be held across the country, as men’s and women’s events will be held in the Missouri Valley Section in Springfield, Mo.; the SoCal Section in Claremont, Calif.; the NorCal Section in Salinas, Calif.; and the Mid-Atlantic Section in College Park, Md. Additionally, the New England section will conduct its men’s event in West Haven, Conn.

USTA Eastern Section

<p><img width="100" height="52" align="left" alt="" src="/sites/default/files/u12/USTA_Eastern_Logo.jpg" />USTA Eastern is a not-for-profit community service organization whose mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis. One of 17 geographic sections of the USTA, the governing body of tennis in the United States, USTA Eastern boasts over 48,000 members throughout all of New York, Northern New Jersey and Greenwich, Connecticut.</p>