By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com
The US Open National Playoffs is bigger and better than ever as it returns this year for its sixth season. Brand new competitions have been added in 2015 for men's doubles and women's doubles, while entrants can continue to compete in men's and women's singles and mixed doubles.
The US Open National Playoffs men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles champions will receive wild cards into their respective main draws at the 2015 US Open, held from Aug. 31-Sept. 13. The men's and women's singles champions will earn wild cards into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held the week prior to the US Open.
"The US Open National Playoffs are all about connecting people to the US Open," said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President. "This year, by adding men's and women's doubles, the National Playoffs are giving competitors the chance to earn their way into the US Open in every possible way.
"We look forward to another year of great tennis and watching top juniors, collegiates, aspiring pros and weekend warriors compete for the chance to play on tennis' grandest stage."
Registration for the 2015 US Open National Playoffs opens on Sunday, March 15. The National Playoffs website will provide all details regarding registration, rules, schedule and entry fees.
The US Open National Playoffs start out with 14 sectional qualifying tournaments held across the country. The champions or top available finishers in each division from each sectional qualifying tournament advance to the US Open National Playoffs Championships events. These penultimate rounds are held in conjuction with the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, an Emirates Airline US Open Series held at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
More than 1,200 players competed in last year's US Open National Playoffs, the greatest number of competitors in the tournament's history. Sanam Singh and Caitlin Whoriskey won the men's and women's singles titles, respectively, and then won their opening-round matches in the US Open Qualifying Tournament. Jacqueline Cako and Joel Kielbowicz won the mixed doubles title and played their first-round match at the US Open in front of thousands of spectators on the Grandstand court.
Even celebrities have taken a show at competing on tennis' biggest stage. Past participants in the US Open National Playoffs include LMFAO frontman Redfoo, Olympic skier Bode Miller and ESPN's Mike Greenberg, who teamed with six-time US Open champion Chris Evert in mixed doubles.