| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo credit: Eric C. Peck

The USTA has announced that the U.S. Open will feature a college tennis competition for the first time ever in 2014, inviting top American college players to compete in the inaugural American Collegiate Invitational, set for Thursday-Saturday, 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 U.S. Open, with the winners receiving a wild card into a future pro event. The American Collegiate Invitational is open only to American players, using the objective selection criteria listed below.

“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 U.S. Open,” said USTA Chairman, CEO and President Dave Haggerty.

The men’s and women’s fields will include six players who are still in college and two who have exhausted their college eligibility this year, as determined by the following criteria:

►The six members of the USTA Collegiate Team, who are selected based on results, Intercollegiate Tennis Association honors and pro rankings.

►The top two graduating seniors or the top two players who turned professional/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 U.S. Open,” said U.S. Open Tournament Director David Brewer. “Many collegians continue on to successful pro careers, so we look forward to showcasing some very talented players.”