UCLA senior Clay Thompson is currently ranked No. 1 in the men's college rankings.
© David Kenas
By Sally Milano, USTA.com
For the first time ever, college tennis' top American players will compete on the world's biggest stage in a new event slated for the 2014 US Open – the American Collegiate Invitational, which will take place Sept. 4-6 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
Eight men and eight women will be invited to play in a singles tournament during the second week of the US Open, with the men's and women's winner each receiving a wild card into a future pro event.
“College tennis plays such a significant role in the vitality of American tennis, and it’s important that we are able to highlight some of America’s best college players on a worldwide stage at the US Open,” said USTA Chairman, CEO and President Dave Haggerty.
The invitational is open only to American players and will feature men’s and women’s fields of six players who are still in college plus two who have exhausted their college eligibility this year. To be eligible to compete, the collegians must meet the following criteria:
- They are among the six members of the USTA Collegiate Team, who are selected based on results, Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) honors and pro rankings.
- They are the top two graduating seniors or the top two players who either turned professional or have exhausted their college eligibility in 2013-14, according to the ITA’s final singles rankings.
- If the top two players who have exhausted their college eligibility are already on the USTA Collegiate Team or if the six spots reserved for players still in college have not been filled, invitations will be extended based on the ITA’s final singles rankings.
“We are excited to make college tennis a bigger part of the US Open,” said US Open Tournament Director David Brewer. “Many collegians continue on to successful pro careers, so we look forward to showcasing some very talented players.”