Young Headlines Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs In His Hometown

July 23, 2009 02:27 PM
John Isner
John Isner

The USTA announced Atlanta’s Donald Young and U.S. Fed Cup team member Alexa Glatch are among the players invited to compete at its Australian Open wild card playoffs held during the 2009 Infinite Energy Atlanta Challenge at the Racquet Club of the South, a USTA Certified Regional Training Center in Atlanta, December 4-7.  The event will feature an exhibition match on December 4, with the wild card playoffs commencing the next day.

Eight men and eight women will compete in the wild card playoffs. The USTA secured the opportunity through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia where the two national tennis federations exchanged wild cards for the 2010 Australian Open and 2009 US Open.

“Our wild card playoffs support our philosophy of giving players a chance to earn opportunities to compete at the highest level and allows our top emerging players to challenge each other,” said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development. “This year we partnered with T&S Events to create an event that allows tennis fans to watch these talented players battle for a berth into the Australian Open.”


Ryan Harrison (17, Bradenton, Fla.) – Won first match on ATP World Tour at the age of 15 at the 2008 U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships; Earned career-high ATP ranking (No. 362) last week

Alex Kuznetsov (22, Tampa, Fla.) – 2004 French Open boys’ runner-up (l. to Monfils) won first USTA Pro Circuit Challenger at Winnetka, Ill., in July; currently ranked No. 200 on the ATP World Tour

Jesse Levine (22, Boca Raton, Fla.) – Former Univ. of Florida All-American reached third round of Wimbledon as a qualifier in 2009 (d. Safin in first round); Cracked Top 100 in 2008 and is currently No. 118

Michael McClune (20, Irvine, Calif.) – 2007 USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion has five career USTA Pro Circuit titles; Currently ranked No. 331 and earned a career-high ranking of No. 290 last month

Wayne Odesnik (24, Weston, Fla.) – Earned career-high ranking of No. 77 after reaching first ATP World Tour final in Houston in April; Currently ranked No. 105

Jack Sock (17, Lincoln, Neb.) – Top-ranked player in USTA Boys’ 18s won first career USTA Pro Circuit title in Amelia Island, Fla., last week; Debuted in the ATP World Tour Rankings last month

Ryan Sweeting (22, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) – 2005 US Open boys’ singles champion won his second career USTA Pro Circuit title at the Challenger in Dallas in February; Currently ranked No. 158 and earned a career-high ranking of No. 140 last month

Donald Young (20, Atlanta) – Youngest ITF World Junior Champion at the age of 16 after winning 2005 Australian Open boys’ singles title; also a two-time USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion (2005-06); Earned career-high ranking of No. 73 in April 2008; Currently ranked No. 197


Lauren Albanese (20, Coral Springs, Fla.) – 2006 USTA Girls’ 18s National Champion reached two USTA Pro Circuit finals this year; Currently ranked No. 172 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour

Madison Brengle (19, Dover, Del.) -- 2007 girls’ singles finalist at the Australian Open and Wimbledon member of 2008 U.S. Fed Cup team; won playoffs to earn wild cards into the 2007 and 2008 Australian Opens and the 2008 French Open; Currently ranked No. 164 and earned a career-high ranking of No. 158 earlier this month

Julia Cohen (20, Miami) – 2009 All-American at the University of Miami reached semifinals at USTA Pro Circuit event in Carson, Calif., in May; Earned a career-high ranking of No. 248 last week before dropping one spot

Ester Goldfeld (16, Brooklyn, N.Y.) – Reached first career USTA Pro Circuit final at Brownsville, Texas, in June; Earned a career-high ranking of No. 585 last week before dropping two spots

Christina McHale (17, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.) – 2009 USTA Girls’ 18s singles and doubles National Champion won the Australian Open wild card playoff last year; Currently ranked No. 231 and earned a career-high ranking of No. 204 last month

Asia Muhammad (18, Henderson, Nev.) – Introduced to tennis at the Andre Agassi Boys’ and Girls’ Club in Las Vegas; Reached the final of the USTA Pro Circuit $50,000 event in Las Vegas in 2008; Currently ranked No. 379 and earned a career-high ranking of No. 348 in October

Alison Riske (19, McMurray, Pa.) – Runner-up at the 2007 USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships won her first professional title at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Troy, Ala., in October; Earned a career-high ranking of No. 220 last week before dropping a spot

CoCo Vandeweghe (will turn 18 during playoffs, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) – Niece of NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe became first American to win US Open girls’ singles title since 1995 in 2008; Currently ranked No. 325 and earned a career-high ranking of No. 320 in October

John Isner and Christina McHale earned wild card berths into the 2009 Australian Open men’s and women’s singles main draw events last December at the USTA’s wild card playoffs, which were held at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.

In addition to the wild card playoffs, the event will also feature an exhibition on Friday, December 4, featuring 7-time Grand Slam doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan, Mardy Fish and John Isner. Those four will also participate in exhibitions in Pelham, Ala., and Chattanooga, Tenn., on Dec. 2-3 in an effort to promote the event across the South.

“Atlanta tennis fans are starving for live professional tennis and this tournament will showcase some of the best tennis in the world,“ said Trevor Short, President, T&S Events. “The 2009 Infinite Energy Atlanta Challenge, featuring both the wild card playoffs and the special exhibition, is one of the most unique events in the world and T&S Events is very excited for the opportunity to host it in Atlanta.”

Competitors for the wild card playoffs will be named following the 2009 US Open.

Go to for tickets and more information.