Americans Robby Ginepri and Melanie Oudin are among the four women and three men who have been invited to participate in the 2011 Kia Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs, set for Dec. 16-18 at the Racquet Club of the South, a USTA-Certified Regional Training Center in Atlanta. The complete field for the eight-man and eight-woman playoff will be announced as players are confirmed. The USTA and Tennis Australia have a reciprocal agreement in which men’s and women’s singles main draw wild cards into the 2011 U.S. Open and the 2012 Australian Open are exchanged.
The four women who will compete include: Oudin (Marietta, Ga.), who in 2009 became the youngest American to reach the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open since Serena Williams in 1999, and who helped lead the U.S. to back-to-back Fed Cup finals in 2009-10; Jamie Hampton (Auburn, Ala.), who successfully qualified for the 2011 Australian Open and who reached a career-high WTA ranking of No. 116 in April; Alison Riske (McMurray, Pa.), who reached the quarterfinals of the 2011 Wimbledon tune-up event in Birmingham, England, and who has won two $50,000 events in France this year; and Coco Vandeweghe (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), who broke into the WTA top 100 this year and reached a career-high No. 89 in April. Vandeweghe won this event in 2009 to earn a wild card into the 2010 Australian Open, and also reached the final of last year’s event.
The three men invited to compete include: Ginepri (Kennesaw, Ga.), the only active American male besides Andy Roddick to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam event (2005 U.S. Open), who is coming back from an arm injury that he suffered in 2010; Denis Kudla (Arlington, Va.), who reached the quarterfinals at the ATP World Tour event in Newport, R.I., in July; and Jack Sock (Lincoln, Neb.), who in 2010 became the first American to win the boys’ singles title at the U.S. Open since Roddick in 2000.
Ryan Harrison and Lauren Davis won the 2010 playoffs to earn wild cards into the 2011 Australian Open.