Are you sick of summertime DC-area tennis events yet? If you’ve managed to find your way to Tennis Maryland, our guess is NO. You’re obsessed, and no amount of 93+ degree days in a row is going to break your habit. Thank God for yesterday’s weather. Now, it’s back to the old grind.
We’ve been exceptionally blessed this year with Pro Tennis in the DC area. The weather has been typically brutal, but we’re on a three-month, four-event marathon less than a one-hour drive from the Baltimore area, with three at the Tennis Center at College Park alone (US Open Sectional Qualifying Playoffs, CitiOpen and now the Wild Cards).
Sitting at home in air-conditioned bliss, Tennis Maryland did a little post on the fly about two weeks ago regarding the US Open Wild Card Playoffs, to be held at The Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, MD, from August 18–20. Little did we know that it would attract almost as much traffic on our site as each of the 10 sweaty days of coverage at CitiOpen. Incidentally, for our comprehensive and grueling gavel-to-gavel coverage of CitiOpen, we received as many hits from Israel as we did the United States. We digress.
The USTA is selecting eight men and eight women to compete in the 2011 US Open Wildcard Playoffs for a spot in the main draw of the US Open.
Patrick McEnroe, the GM of USTA Player Development, has described the JTCC as a facility that “has produced a number of players that could have an impact not only in this event, but on the sport of tennis for years to come.”
Two local players– JTCC protege Denis Kudla and the Washington Kastles Bobby Reynolds are among the eight men looking for the main draw singles berth at the US Open.
Tennis Maryland was there when Denis reached the Quarterfinals of the 2011 Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, RI and he is our fave to take the main draw spot. We blinked and missed him at Legg Mason, so we’ll be there to take some photos of him. That way, we can retire this one photo of him that we keep using and using.
Jack Sock, the 2010 US Open Juniors Champion who just turned pro, will also be in contention. He joins Kudla, Reynolds, Rhyne Williams, Alex Domajin, and Daniel Kosakowski. The USTA will pick two more in the days to come. As we said up there in the Photo caption but you didn’t see, DC’s Dangerous Denis Kudla is our pick, but The Sock could generate some Static Electricity.
Lauren Davis, who also recently joined the pro tour and made her debut at the 2011 Australian Open, will compete for the women’s singles entry to the US Open, as will the Philadelphia Freedom’s Madison Keys, Alexa Glatch,
Jamie Hampton, Jessica Pegula and Gail Brodsky. Alison Riske, pictured at the top of our post, despite a disappointing 1st round CitiOpen loss at the hands of red-hot Genie Bouchard, is our pick to win it all. One more women’s contestant will be chosen by the USTA. Perhaps the USTA will choose ….Skylar or Trice?
Why not Ellicott City’s Trice Capra, a 2010 Wild Card Playoff defending champion? She more than proved herself in the main draw in Flushing last year, knocking off Karolina Sprem and Aravane Rezai. Give Maryland one last chance to see her before she becomes a dreaded Duke Blue Devil.
There will be 4 sessions in all, with two on Friday and the Finals on Saturday. The Friday night session features one semifinal in addition to a Tennis Carnival, with a barbecue, clinics, games, and a World Team Tennis exhibition match with politicians(!), local celebrities, players from the Playoff, and former top ATP pros. You won’t have to worry that the politicians won’t shake hands with the Chair Umpire like Wayne Odesnik did, causing a stink earlier this week at Legg Mason. They’ll shake the Chair’s hand, your hand and kiss your baby.
Saturday, August 20, will also be a kid-friendly session. 10 and under Junior Team Tennis will host a competition featuring young players from all over the US and the Caribbean.
Essentially, the tickets are less than half of the price of a Legg Mason single session pass. If you live in Maryland, especially north of the District, you cannot miss it. The free parking for CitiOpen was a nice touch. We’d be surprised if it isn’t continued at the US Open Wild Card Playoffs. The venue is beautiful and intimate. The play there should equal the quality of the venue. We’ll be there every day.
Ticketing information is available at www.jtcc.org or by calling 301 779 8000.