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US Open Wild Cards Awarded to Four Teenagers

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The USTA today announced that USTA Girls’ 18s National Champion Gail Brodksy (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Jamea Jackson (Bradenton, Fla.), Asia Muhammad (Las Vegas), Melanie Oudin (Roswell, Ga.), Ahsha Rolle (Miami Shores, Fla.), CoCo Vandeweghe (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), Frenchwomen Séverine Bremond and an Australian player to be named have been awarded women’s singles main draw wild card entries into the 2008 US Open Tennis Championships, which will be played August 25 - September 7 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

Both the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions will earn $1.5 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.5 million potential payout) based on their performance in the Olympus US Open Series. In addition, both US Open singles champions will receive a new 2009 Lexus IS-F automobile.

Five of the eight main draw wild card recipients are age 22 or younger.

Bremond, 29, is currently ranked No. 124 and received her wild card through a reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation, which granted a women’s main draw wild card into the 2008 French Open to a player designated by the USTA. This will mark her 20th consecutive Grand Slam appearance; she was a 2006 Wimbledon quarterfinalist, becoming the first qualifier to advance that far since 1999. In February of 2008, she achieved a career high ranking of 34.

Brodsky, 17, earned her wild card by winning the 2008 USTA Girls’ 18s National Championship last weekend in Berkeley, Calif. After winning the 2007 Girls’ 18s Easter Bowl, Brodsky reached the quarterfinals at the 2007 Junior Wimbledon Championships. She reached the semifinals at the 2007 $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Troy, Ala, and is currently ranked No. 387 after reaching the quarterfinals at the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Vancouver, Canada.

Jackson, 21, finished 2006 ranked inside the top 50 for the first time in her career, but spent much of 2007 recovering from hip surgery. Currently ranked No. 415, she reached the semifinal at the $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Dothan, Ala., in April. At age 19 in April, 2006, she became the lowest-ranked player (at No. 75) to represent the United States in Fed Cup and led the U.S. Fed Cup team to a first round 3-2 upset over Germany and posted the biggest upset (by ranking) in U.S. Fed Cup history, defeating world No. 14 Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the process.

Muhammad, 17, is currently ranked No. 416. A week after making her first semifinal appearance in a pro event at the 2007 $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in El Paso, Texas, she won her first pro event at the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Houston. In March, she reached the final at the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Las Vegas. Muhammad was a doubles semifinalist at last year’s US Junior Open, and later played for the 2007 U.S. Junior Fed Cup team.

Oudin, 16, is currently ranked No. 230 in addition to being No. 3 in the ITF World Junior Rankings. She won her first professional singles title in July at the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Lexington, Ky., and in March, she won her first WTA Tour match, defeating Maret Ani in the first round at Indian Wells. She also reached the final at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. In March, Oudin won the USTA Girls’ 18s International Spring Championships and in April she captured the 2008 Girls’ 18s Easter Bowl.

Rolle, 23, is currently ranked No. 133. As a qualifier in 2007, she reached the third round of the US Open and achieved a career-high singles ranking of No. 82. This season, Rolle reached the semifinals at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Jackson, Miss., and reached the second round at Indian Wells before losing to current World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic. She also represented the U.S. in the semifinals of the 2008 Fed Cup.

Vandeweghe, 16, reached the final of the 2008 USTA Girls’ 18s National Championship last weekend in Berkeley, Calif. She’s currently ranked No. 516 and reached the quarterfinals at the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Las Vegas in March. Vandeweghe reached the semifinals of two USTA Pro Circuit events in 2007, and represented the U.S. on the 2007 Junior Fed Cup team.

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 19-22 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Players receiving US Open qualifying wild cards are: Kristie Ahn (16, Upper Saddle River, N.J.), Julia Boserup (16, Los Angeles), Madison Brengle (18, Dover, Del.), Kimberly Couts(19, Bradenton, Fla.), reigning US Open girls’ singles champion Kristina Kucova (18, Slovak Republic), Amanda McDowell (20, Atlanta), Christina McHale (16, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.),Shenay Perry (24, Coral Springs, Fla.), and Sloane Stephens (15, Boca Raton, Fla.)

The 2008 US Open will mark the culmination of the Olympus US Open Series, the six-week summer tennis season linking all major ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournaments inNorth America to the US Open. Expected to draw over 700,000 fans, the US Open is the highest annually-attended sporting event in the world. More than 75 million viewers watched the 2007 US Open on CBS Sports and USA Network, and international broadcasts reached more than 180 countries.

The 2008 US Open will be held Monday, August 25 through Sunday, September 7. Tickets for the 2008 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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