The United States Tennis Association Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships has awarded a total of ten wild card entries into the tournament, which is scheduled for August 5-13 at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. The following players from across the U.S. received a wild card to play in this year’s championships:
Najah Dawson – Rosedale, N.Y.
Tara Mailk – Secaucus, N.J.
Makayla Mills – Wilmington, N.C.
Michelle Sorokko – Little Neck, N.Y.
Naomi Cheong – Las Vegas, Nev.
Emma DeCoste – Stuart, Fla.
Michaela Gordon – Saratoga, Calif.
Victoria Hu – Northborough, Maine
Maria Mateas – Braintree, Mass.
Alana Smith – Fort Washington, Md.
Tournament officials also announced that tennis legend Billie Jean King has been named Honorary Chair for this year’s USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships. King, a 39-time major champion and a former No. 1 player in the world, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.
“We are very proud to have Billie Jean King as the Honorary Chair for our tournament. Over the years, she has been as a great inspiration for so many girls, on and off the tennis court,” said Tournament Director Lornie Kuhle. “Billie Jean is a big supporter of this event and we will always be thankful for her continued involvement and what it brings to this championship.”
Kuhle also said new tournament drawboards, honoring tennis legend Pancho Segura, a San Diego North County resident, will be unveiled on opening day of the tournament. The boards, which measure 10 feet high and 16 feet wide, will allow fans an enhanced opportunity to follow players as well as scores and results in both divisions while attending the tournament. To view the full list of competitors in the USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships, go here. (List is subject to change.)
Over 400 girls aged 16 and 18 and under will compete for the title of National Champion, as well as a wild card entry into the Women’s Singles main draw of the US Open (for the 18s Champion) and a wild card into the US Open Junior Championships (for the 16s Champion). The 18s Doubles Champions will also receive a wild card into the US Open Women’s Doubles main draw. The Girls’ 16s event will begin on Saturday, Aug. 5 and conclude with the singles and doubles finals on Saturday Aug. 12. The Girls’ 18s tournament will get underway on Sunday, Aug. 6 and conclude with the 18s singles championship on Sunday, Aug. 13. Both divisions will feature 256-player singles draws with the top 32 players receiving a first-round bye. There will also be 128-team doubles draws with the top 16 teams getting first-round byes.
The starting time for each day of the tournament will be as follows:
8 a.m. – Saturday, August 5 through Wednesday, August 9
8:30 a.m. – Thursday, August 10
9 a.m. – Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12
10 a.m. – Sunday, August 13
The Opening Ceremony for the USTA National Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Barnes Tennis Center. (All times are PDT.) The scheduled guest speaker is USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis and USTA National Campus, Kurt Kamperman.
Early-round tournament matches will also be played at San Diego State University’s Aztec Tennis Center and the Balboa Tennis Club, from Saturday, August 5 through Wednesday, August 9. Admission and on-site parking at the Barnes Tennis Center is free each day of the tournament. For fans watching matches at SDSU and the Balboa Tennis Club, admission is free. There is a nominal charge for on-campus parking at SDSU. Parking regulations at the university will be strictly enforced. Parking is free at the Balboa Tennis Club.