Men's US Open Wild Card Recipients Named
FLUSHING, N.Y. — The USTA announced today that two-time US Open quarterfinalist James Blake (Tampa, Fla.) and a talented group of Americans consisting of Bradley Klahn (Poway, Calif.), Jack Sock (Lincoln, Neb.), Ryan Sweeting (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), and Donald Young (Atlanta), along with two international players — Australian Carsten Ball and Guillaume Rufin of France — have been awarded men’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 Playoffs, 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.
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 Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Mercedes-Benz USA.
Blake, 30, of Tampa, Fla., has won 10 career singles titles on the ATP World Tour and reached a career-high of No. 4 in 2006. He reached consecutive quarterfinals at the US Open in 2005-06, and in 2008 he upset Roger Federer en route to a fourth place finish at the Beijing Olympics. A long-time Davis Cup stalwart, Blake helped lead the U.S. to the 2007 Davis Cup title. Blake, who grew up in nearby Fairfield, Conn., has been hampered by injuries in 2010, and is currently No. 107. Blake last received a US Open wild card in 2005, when he was also ranked No. 107 at the time of the entry deadline. His quarterfinal finish that year ranks second all-time for best US Open finish by a wild card.
Klahn, 20, of Poway, Calif., won the 2010 NCAA Division I singles title as a sophomore at Stanford University this summer. He also reached the semifinals of the NCAA doubles tournament, and as a freshman was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Rookie of the Year. During his junior career, Klahn ascended to No. 1 in the USTA Boys’ 18s rankings and No. 14 in the ITF World Junior Rankings. He reached the round of 16 in the US Open and Wimbledon boys’ singles in 2008.
Sock, 17, of Lincoln, Neb., won the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships on Sunday to earn a wild card into this year’s main draw, his first at a Grand Slam event. He reached the round of 16 in singles and the semifinals in doubles at last year’s US Open juniors, and also advanced to the quarterfinals at the 2009 Dunlop Orange Bowl. Sock won his first professional title last year at the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Amelia Island, Fla.
Sweeting, 23, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is ranked a career-high No. 111 and has come into his own in the past year. The 2005 US Open boys’ singles champion won a USTA playoff to earn a wild card into the 2010 French Open and also qualified for the main draw at this year’s Wimbledon. Sweeting has played in the US Open main draw each of the past five years, qualifying a year ago and reaching the second round in 2006. He has won three singles titles on the USTA Pro Circuit, including back-to-back Challenger titles in Dallas in 2009 and 2010.
Young, 21, of Atlanta is ranked No. 101 and has bounced back in 2010 to approach the Top 100 for the first time since 2008, reaching the semifinals or better at six USTA Pro Circuit Challengers and advancing to the second round at the Australian Open. He first broke into the Top 100 in 2007 by reaching the third round at the US Open. As a junior standout, Young was a two-time junior Grand Slam tournament champion (2005 Australian Open, 2007 Wimbledon) and in 2005 became the youngest-ever year-end world junior No. 1.
Ball, 23, was born in California, where he currently resides, but represents Australia, is ranked No. 145 and peaked at a career-high No. 108 in July after winning the USTA Pro Circuit $50,000 Challenger in Lexington, Ky., for his first Challenger title. Last year Ball reached his first ATP World Tour final at the LA Tennis Open, an Olympus US Open Series event, where he lost to Sam Querrey in the final. Ball also teamed with countryman Chris Guccione to reach the men’s doubles quarterfinals at the 2009 US Open.
Rufin, 20, of Charnay, France, is ranked No. 207 and will be competing in his first US Open. This year he qualified for the Australian Open and reached the doubles round of 16 at the French Open. As a junior, he reached the round of 16 in the 2008 US Open and peaked at No. 6 in the ITF World Junior Rankings that year.
In addition to the eight US Open men’s singles main draw wild cards, the USTA also announced the nine men 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: 2009 USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion Chase Buchanan (19, New Albany, Ohio), 2009 Wimbledon boys’ singles runner-up Jordan Cox (18, Duluth, Ga.), 2010 French Open boys’ singles runner-up Andrea Collarini (18, Boca Raton, Fla.), Jarmere Jenkins (19, College Park, Ga.), Steve Johnson (20, Orange, Calif.), Greg Ouellette (24, Ormond Beach, Fla.), 2010 USTA Boys’ 18s runner-up Bob van Overbeek (18, Boca Raton, Fla.), Rhyne Williams (19, Knoxville, Tenn.), and 2010 US Open National Playoffs men’s champion Blake Strode (23, St. Louis). Buchanan, Jenkins, Johnson, van Overbeek and Williams were all members of the 2010 USTA Summer Collegiate Team.
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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