NCAA CHAMPION GULLICKSON AMONG 2010 US OPEN WILD CARD RECIPIENTS

NCAA CHAMPION GULLICKSON AMONG 2010 US OPEN WILD CARD RECIPIENTS

Courtesy: USTA

FLUSHING, N.Y.,  – The USTA announced today that NCAA singles championChelsey Gullickson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Jamie Hampton (Auburn, Ala.), local favoriteChristina McHale (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), 2010 USTA Girls’ singles champion Shelby Rogers (Daniel Island, S.C.), and Coco Vandeweghe (Rancho Mirage, Calif.), along with two international players -- Australian
Sophie Ferguson and Virginie Razzano of France -- have been awarded women’s singles main draw wild card entries into the 2010 US Open Tennis Championships. One additional wild card will be given to the winner of the 2010 US Open Wild Card Playoff, held August 18-20 at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla. The 2010 US Open will be played August 30 – September 12 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

Three of the women have local ties to the New York area. NCAA singles champion Gullickson is the daughter of former New York Yankee Bill Gullickson; Vandeweghe is the niece of Kiki Vandeweghe, the former NBA standout and previous general manager and head coach of the New Jersey Nets; and McHale resides in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., just 15 miles away from the site of the US Open.

Both the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions will earn $1.7 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total potential payout of $2.7 million)based on their performance in the 2010 Olympus US Open Series. The US Open Women’s Singles Championship is presented by JPMorgan Chase.

Gullickson, who turns 20 on August 29 and hails from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., won the NCAA Division I singles title this year representing the University of Georgia, becoming the school’s first NCAA women’s singles champion since 1994. Gullickson won her first USTA Pro Circuit singles title in 2008 and, that same year, teamed with sister (and 2009 US Open mixed doubles champion) Carly to reach the doubles final at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Hammond, La. Gullickson’s father, Bill, was a professional pitcher who played for the New York Yankees in 1987 and led the American League with 20 wins for the 1991 Detroit Tigers.

Hampton, 20, of Auburn, Ala., is ranked No. 160 and has risen more than 550 spots in the rankings in 2010 by reaching six USTA Pro Circuit singles finals and winning three titles. She also qualified for the Olympus US Open Series event in San Diego this year and received a main draw wild card into Cincinnati a week later. As a junior, Hampton twice won the USTA Girls’ 18s doubles title (2007-08) to earn wild cards into the US Open women’s doubles draw.

McHale, 18, of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., is ranked a career-high No. 115 and is one of the rising stars in American tennis. Last year she won the USTA Girls’ 18s National Championship to earn a wild card into the US Open main draw, where she defeated then-world No. 81 Polona Hercog to become just the second USTA Girls’ 18s champion since 1998 to win her first round match at the US Open. This year McHale won a USTA playoff to earn a French Open main draw wild card, and reached the round of 16 at both the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C., and the Olympus US Open Series event in Cincinnati. She won the 2009 Easter Bowl to crack the Top 10 in the world junior rankings.

Rogers, 17, of Daniel Island, S.C., earned a wild card into the main draw by winning the USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships. She burst onto the tennis scene earlier this year, winning a pre-qualifying event to earn a qualifying wild card into the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C., and reaching the final of the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., as a qualifier. More recently, she reached the quarterfinals of the $75,000 event in Vancouver. This is Rogers’ first appearance at the US Open, in either the main draws or the juniors.

Vandeweghe, 18, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., is ranked a career-high No. 168. In what has been the strongest year of her career thus far, she won a USTA playoff to earn a 2010 Australian Open main draw wild card, and also claimed her first pro title at the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Carson, Calif. She recently reached the quarterfinals of the 2010 Olympus US Open Series event in San Diego as a qualifier, defeating world No. 9 Vera Zvonareva en route. Vandeweghe captured the 2008 US Open girls’ singles championship. Her mom, Tauna, was an Olympic medalist in both swimming and volleyball, and her uncle is former NBA star and previous general manager and head coach of the New Jersey Nets, Kiki Vandeweghe.

Ferguson, 24, of Australia, is ranked No. 113. This year she qualified and advanced to the second round of the French Open. She also reached the final of the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Razzano, 27, of France, is ranked No. 114 and cracked the Top 20 last year after advancing to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. She holds two Sony Ericsson WTA Tour titles and has played for the French Fed Cup team. Razzano has competed in the US Open main draw nine times, advancing to the fourth round in 2006, which included an upset of world No. 9 Martina Hingis in the second round.

In addition to the eight US Open women’s singles main draw wild cards, the USTA also announced the nine women who have been awarded wild card entries into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which will be held August 24-27 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Players receiving US Open qualifying wild cards are: Julia Boserup (18, Boca Raton, Fla.),Beatrice Capra (18, Ellicott City, Md.), Irina Falconi (20, Jupiter, Fla.), Nicole Gibbs (17, Santa Monica, Calif.), Alexa Glatch (20, Newport Beach, Calif.), Krista Hardebeck (15, Santa Ana, Calif.),Madison Keys (15, Boca Raton, Fla.), Sloane Stephens (17, San Pedro, Calif.) and 2010 US Open National Playoffs women’s champion Alexandra Mueller (22, Abington, Pa.).

The 2010 US Open will be held Monday, August 30 through Sunday, September 12. Tickets for the 2010 US Open can be purchased four ways: 1) at usopen.org; 2) by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866 OPEN-TIX; 3) at all Ticketmaster outlets; or 4) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office. American Express is the Official Card of the US Open.

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