| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

USTA Player Development has announced that it will host its second annual U.S. Open Wild Card Playoff to award a men’s and women’s main draw singles wild card into the 2011 U.S. Open. Eight men and eight women will be invited to compete for the wild cards Aug. 18-20 at the Junior Tennis Champions Center, a USTA-Certified Regional Training Center in College Park, Md.

Among the players confirmed is 18-year-old Denis Kudla of Arlington, Va., who trains at the Junior Tennis Champions Center and reached the boys’ singles final at the 2010 U.S. Open. Earlier this month, he beat Ivo Karlovic en route to a quarterfinals appearance at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I. Additional players will be announced as the event approaches.

“Our philosophy and continued approach is that wild cards into the biggest events, including the U.S. Open, should be earned as opposed to given away, and we want our top emerging players to compete for the right to play at the highest levels of the sport,” said Patrick McEnroe, general manager of USTA Player Development. “This year, we’re looking forward to hosting the event at one of the finest developmental facilities in the country, one that has produced a number of players that could have an impact not only in this event, but on the sport of tennis for years to come.”

In addition to the playoff, event organizers will also host a World TeamTennis-styled exhibition featuring celebrity guests and playoff participants on Friday, Aug. 19, as well as an Intersectional 10-and-Under Tennis Team Rally featuring young players from throughout the USTA Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Texas and Caribbean sections on Saturday, Aug. 20. The USTA has held wild card playoffs since 2007 to determine wild cards into the Australian and French Opens per reciprocal agreements with Tennis Australia and the French Tennis Federation.