US Open Sectional Qualifying Kicks Off Friday

A spot in the 2012 US Open is up for grabs, and the road to claiming that spot is already open.

Middle States will kick off its US Open National Playoffs Sectional Qualifying Tournament on Friday, June 8, with the finals scheduled for Monday, June 11. The event gives players the opportunity to garner a wildcard entry into one of the biggest sporting events in the country: the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.

The tournament will be held at Mercer County Tennis Facility in West Windsor, N.J., for the third straight year.

The Middle States tournament is one of 13 sectional qualifying events held around the country. Men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles winners from each section will advance to the US Open National Qualifying tournament, which is held in conjunction with an Olympus US Open Series event later in the summer. Winners from the National tournament will then advance to the Qualifying Draw of the US Open.

Last year, Middle States singles champions included Nathan Healey in men’s, and Robin Anderson in women’s. Healey, 31, defeated Jermaine Smith in the final in two sets, 6-1, 6-3, after defeating previous champion Punch Maleka in round three. He did not drop a set during the entire tournament. Healey also claimed the mixed doubles title alongside 19-year-old Veronica Corning.

Healey then reached the singles final of the US Open National Qualifying Tournament, but lost a close match to Blake Strode, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (4).

Anderson, 18 at the time, topped 16-year-old Amy Zhu in the women’s final, 6-2, 6-0, losing only four games in four matches. She went on to claim the National Playoff title.  Since the tournament, Anderson has competed in NCAA Division I tennis for the UCLA Bruins and was one of the top collegiate players in the nation.

Like Anderson in 2011, 2010 Middle States women’s champion Alexandra Mueller later claimed the National Playoff title. She is now a common face in WTA, ITF and USTA Pro Circuit events and tournaments.  Mueller is the No. 1 seed in the women’s singles draw this year.

For updates, photos and more from the qualifier, make sure to visit Middle States online.

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