| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

The USTA has announced that it will host a new U.S. Open Wild Card Playoff to award a men’s and women’s main draw singles wild card into the 2010 U.S. Open. Eight men and eight women will be invited to compete for the wild cards, Wednesday-Friday,  Aug. 18-20 at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla. The USTA has held wild card playoffs since 2007 to determine wild cards into the Australian and French Opens per reciprocal agreements with Tennis Australia and the French Tennis Federation.

“Our wild card tournaments for the Australian and French Opens have shown that our philosophy of letting our top emerging players compete for the opportunity to play at the highest levels is working,” said Patrick McEnroe, general manager, USTA Player Development. “I believe that applying this process to the US Open sends a strong message to our players that opportunities such as a U.S. Open wild card are meant to be earned through hard work, dedication and competition.”

The list of invited players is comprised of some of the country’s top collegiate and junior players, as well as a number of professionals who compete primarily on the USTA Pro Circuit, including:

Men

►Chase Buchanan of New Albany, Ohio

►Andrea Collarini, Boca Raton, Fla.

►Alexander Domijan, Wesley Chapel, Fla.

►Ryan Harrison, Bradenton, Fla.

►Jarmere Jenkins – College Park, Ga.

►Steve Johnson – Orange, Calif.

►Austin Krajicek – Brandon, Fla.

►Tim Smyczek – Milwaukee, Wis.

Women

►Julia Boserup,  Boca Raton, Fla.

►Madison Brengle, Dover, Del.

►Beatrice Capra, Ellicott City, Md.

►Irina Falconi, Jupiter, Fla.

►Nicole Gibbs – Santa Monica, Calif.

►Krista Hardebeck – Santa Ana, Calif.

►Madison Keys – Boca Raton, Fla.

►Alison Riske – McMurray, Pa.

Play will begin each day at 10:00 a.m. ET. The men’s and women’s finals will be played consecutively, with the women’s final starting at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 20, and a best-of-five set men’s final to follow. The event will be free to the public throughout.

For more information, visit www.usta.com.