The US Open National Playoffs returning for a seventh season this year, helping to expand the footprint of the US Open to cities nationwide by providing the opportunity for all players 14 years of age and older to earn a berth into all five draws at the 2016 US Open – men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
The men’s and women’s singles champions earn a wild card into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held the week prior to the tournament, while the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles champions receive wild cards into their respective 2016 US Open main draws.
Last year, more than 2,000 players competed in the US Open National Playoffs – the largest number of participants ever. Players ranged from experienced professionals who were once ranked in the Top 50, to junior players, to current and former college standouts, to recreational players of all playing abilities and walks of life.
Participants included those competing for charity, businesspeople, musicians, lawyers, reporters, former athletes and stay-at-home mothers.
“The US Open National Playoffs are all about giving players of all abilities the opportunity to dream big and be a part of the US Open,” said USTA President and US Open Chairwoman Katrina Adams. “This year, players have more ways than ever to make it to New York, with all five of the US Open’s draws in play. We look forward to another year of great tennis and watching top juniors, collegians, aspiring pros and weekend warriors connect with the US Open and compete for the chance to play on tennis’ grandest stage.”
Notable past participants include Olympic skier Bode Miller; musician Redfoo of the music group LMFAO, who competed in three draws in the 2015 US Open National Playoffs sectional qualifiers; ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, who teamed with six-time US Open champion Chris Evert in mixed doubles; and LuAnn De Lesseps and Jill Zarin of “The Real Housewives of New York City.”
The US Open National Playoffs begin with 15 sectional qualifying tournaments held in different USTA sections across the country, with the first – the USTA Southwest sectional qualifier – occurring May 7-10 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The 15 champions or top available finishers in each division from each sectional qualifying tournament advance to the US Open National Playoffs Championships, held in conjunction with the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event, in New Haven, Conn. The men’s and women’s singles championships will be held Aug. 19-22, followed by men’s and women’s doubles championships on Aug. 21-24 and the mixed doubles championship on Aug. 24- 27.
Players may compete at different sectional qualifying tournaments in each division – one for men’s or women’s singles, one for mixed doubles and/or one for men’s or women’s doubles. However, a player may only compete in one sectional qualifying tournament per division during a calendar year. Participants can be of any playing level, giving everyone an opportunity to advance.
The 2016 US Open is scheduled to take place from Aug. 29 to Sept. 11. The US Open Qualifying Tournament will be held Aug. 23-26, the US Open men’s and women’s doubles championships begin Aug. 30 and the US Open mixed doubles championship begins Aug. 31 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
The entry fee for each of the sectional qualifying tournaments varies, with men’s and women’s singles entries ranging from $75-$100 per player and men’s, women’s and mixed doubles entries ranging from $45-$60 per player. All players competing must have a current USTA membership valid through Aug. 29, 2016.
For additional information on the US Open National Playoffs, including a full schedule of all 15 sectional qualifying tournaments, visit USOpen.org/NationalPlayoffs.