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With US Open Spot Up For Grabs, Players Take to Mercer County

A spot in one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events is open, and someone in USTA Middle States could end up filling it.

Middle States will kick off its US Open National Playoffs Sectional Qualifying Tournament on Saturday, June 22, with the finals scheduled for Tuesday, June 25. This event, which takes place at Mercer County Tennis Center in West Windsor, N.J., is packed with 130 unique entrants in three divisions – nearly double the size of last year’s event. It is the third-largest of 13 qualifying tournaments around the country, giving amateur players a chance to compete on one of sports’ biggest stages.

Maleka with TrophyCompetitors from 14 states will be on hand for men’s singles, women’s singles, and mixed doubles, including six players with world rankings. Current college players from colleges including Syracuse University, Rutgers University, University of Pennsylvania, Virginia Tech and more will join former college standouts, current high school players, coaches, and individuals from each corner of the tennis world. The age range for the tournament runs from 14 to 66.

Winners of the men’s and women’s divisions of the Sectional Qualifying Tournament will advance to the US Open National Playoff Championship, which will take place in New Haven, Conn., at Yale University. Winners of that tournament will receive a wildcard entry into the 2013 US Open Qualifying Tournament, while the winner of the Mixed Doubles Championship will receive an automatic wildcard entry in the US Open Mixed Doubles Championship at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Last year’s men’s tournament winner, Punch Maleka, returns to defend his title. On the women side, Alexis Dorr also returns after losing in last year’s final to Anna Mamalat.

Since the inception of the US Open National Playoffs, the Middle States singles winner in the women’s draw has consistently seen success. Alexandra Mueller took the title in New Haven in 2010, as did Robin Anderson, in 2011.

There are dozens of additional storylines in each draw, with highly-skilled juniors and adults competing for the title. One of those players is Matija Pecotic, a star at Princeton University, who was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation this year among all college players. Pecotic is the first three-time Ivy League Player of the Year in the sport’s history.

In addition to the tournament, there will be a free Wilson Demo-day on Saturday from 12-1:30 p.m. David Gilmour, a Wilson Sporting Goods representative, will be on site to show off the latest technology. There will also be a “hit for prizes” segment included in the free event.

Additional information, including entrants, draws, and location, click here. Updated photo galleries, features, news and more will be available on the Middle States Blog and the Middle States Facebook page throughout the weekend and early week.

For more info on the event, or with media requests, contact Michael Gladysz at gladysz@ms.usta.com or call 484-302-0759.

About USTA Middle States

The USTA is organized geographically into 17 sections. The USTA Middle States section encompasses Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey (exclusive of a 35-mile radius around New York City) and northwestern West Virginia.

A volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization, USTA Middle States is dedicated to carrying out the goals of the national association within its region, particularly with respect to promoting tennis opportunities for juniors and adults of all abilities and cultural backgrounds.

The volunteer USTA Middle States board of directors has full exercise and administrative authority for the section. A small professional staff, headed by the executive director, carries out the day-to-day sectional operations. Association policy is formed and is much of the section’s work is executed through a volunteer structure.

To better serve local needs, USTA Middle States section is further subdivided into six districts: Allegheny Mountain (Pittsburgh, Erie; Wheeling, WV), Central Pennsylvania (Lancaster, Harrisburg, Hershey, York, Williamsport, State College), Delaware (state of Delaware), Philadelphia Area (Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester Counties), Eastern Pennsylvania (Reading, Allentown, Wilkes-Barre) and New Jersey (state of New Jersey).

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