Whitney McCray to compete in 2013 US Open National Playoffs Mixed Doubles...

Whitney McCray to compete in 2013 US Open National Playoffs Mixed Doubles Championship

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Danie van den Heever, 30, of Cumming, Ga., and Whitney McCray, 27, of Houston, defeated Georgia Tech players Nathan Rakitt and Kendal Woodard, 7-6(4), 6-1 to win the USTA Southern Qualifying Tournament.  The team will now compete for a spot in the main draw of the 2013 US Open mixed doubles main draw.

US Open National Playoffs – Mixed Doubles Championship at a Glance

What: The 2013 US Open National Playoffs – Mixed Doubles Championship

Where: The Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, New Haven, Conn.

When: August 21-24 (in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event)

Who: The winners from 13 US Open National Playoffs Sectional Qualifying Tournaments

The US Open National Playoffs mixed doubles champions receive a main draw wild card into the 2013 US Open.

 

Competitors:

 

USTA Southern

Whitney McCray
Age: 27; Hometown: Houston, TX

McCray starred at Georgia Tech, where she earned All-America honors in doubles in 2007 and  finished her career ranked second in school history with a .697 winning percentage in doubles.

Danie van den Heever
Age: 31; Hometown: Cumming, GA

Van den Heever grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was a top junior, and played No. 1 at Georgia Southern University. He is the director of tennis at Creekstone Estates in Georgia.

USTA Eastern

Tarakaa Bertrand
Age: 27; Hometown: Jamaica, NY

Bertrand played collegiately for Vanderbilt University, where she was the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2005 and the SEC Player of the Year in 2006.

Sam Sweeney
Age: 25; Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL

A former Division III standout at North Central College (Ill.), Sweeney was ranked No. 5 in the Division III collegiate rankings and was an All-American in 2010 and 2011.

USTA Florida

Sarah Witten
Age: 32; Hometown: Naples, FL

Witten starred at the University of Kentucky, earning four All-America honors and reaching the NCAA doubles final in 2003. She currently works as a schoolteacher in Florida.

Jesse Witten
Age: 30; Hometown: Naples, FL

Witten, a five-time Kentucky All-American and former world No. 163, upset No. 29 seed Igor Andreev en route to the third round of the 2009 US Open, where he fell in four sets to Novak Djokovic.

USTA Mid-Atlantic

Stephanie Wetmore (CAN)
Age: 25; Hometown: Washington, DC

Wetmore, a volunteer assistant at Georgetown University, won 80 doubles matches as a collegian at UCLA. She peaked at No. 101 in the world junior rankings and played in the US Open juniors.

Matt Brooklyn (GBR)
Age: 26; Hometown: Washington, DC

Brooklyn played college tennis at Arizona State and UCLA, where he met Wetmore, rising as high as No. 29 in the collegiate singles rankings. He currently serves as an assistant coach at Georgetown.

USTA Middle States

Lindsay Graff
Age: 20; Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Graff, the No. 1 singles player for Princeton University, was named to the Ivy League first team in singles as a sophomore (2012-13) and in doubles as a freshman (2011-12).

Matija Pecotic (MLT)
Age: 24; Hometown: Sliema, Malta

Pecotic, born and raised in Malta, was a former star at Princeton University, becoming the first men’s player in Ivy League history to earn Player of the Year honors on three occasions (2011-13).

USTA Midwest

Sandy Niehaus
Age: 18; Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Niehaus, who will play tennis at Ohio State in the fall, is a three-time finalist at the Ohio Division I state high school singles championship. She and Lofgren also won the Midwest mixed doubles title in 2011.

Wil Lofgren
Age: 28; Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Lofgren was a standout at Bradley University, finishing in the Top 5 in school history in total wins, singles win and doubles wins. Lofgren and his mom won the USTA Mother-Son Indoors in 2002-03.

USTA Missouri Valley

Victoria Lozano (MEX)
Age: 22; Hometown: Moscow, ID

Lozano is a standout at the University of Idaho, earning first team all-conference honors in doubles in 2012 and 2013. She is coached by her uncle, Jorge Lozano, a former world No. 4 doubles player.

Patrick Smith (NZL)
Age: 28; Hometown: Munich, Germany

Smith was a standout at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, earning conference Player of the Year honors as a senior. He currently works at the Bridgehampton Equity Group in New Canaan, Conn.

USTA New England

Meghan Kelley
Age: 15; Hometown: Falmouth, ME

The New England singles and mixed doubles winner, Kelley has been ranked in the Top 20 in the USTA girls’ 14s and won the girls’ 16s doubles title at the 2012 USTA National Clay Court Championships.

Daniel Quiceno (COL)
Age: 33; Hometown: Beverly, MA

Quiceno coaches at Manchester Athletic Club, where Kelley trains. He was the No. 1 junior in Colombia and starred at Troy University. He is a past hitting partner for Tommy Haas and Maria Sharapova.

USTA Northern

Nicole Melichar
Age: 20; Hometown: Stuart, FL

A three-time ITF Circuit doubles champion, Melichar broke into the world Top 250 doubles rankings earlier this year. She and Battistone are the defending National Playoffs mixed doubles champions.

Brian Battistone
Age: 34; Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

Battistone, a five-time USTA Pro Circuit doubles champ, uses a double-handled racquet that allows him to hit forehands off both wings and employs a volleyball-style jump serve clocked at 139 mph.

USTA Northern California

Yasmin Schnack
Age: 25; Hometown: Elk Grove, CA

The 2010 NCAA doubles finalist for UCLA, Schnack teamed with Roberson to reach the Mixed Doubles Championship final in 2011. She peaked at No. 140 in the world in doubles last year.

Eric Roberson
Age: 27; Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Roberson was an all-conference performer for Boise State (2004-08). He defeated John Isner en route to the doubles final at the 2001 USTA Boys’ 16s National Championships.

USTA Southern California

Kaitlyn Christian
Age: 21; Hometown: Orange, CA

Christian is entering her senior season at USC, where she is a three-time All-American in doubles and has won the last two ITA National Indoor Doubles Championships.

Dante Cipulli (ARG)
Age: 31; Hometown: Murietta, CA

Cipulli, a two-time competitor in the Men’s Championship, won the NCAA Division II national title as a senior at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri. He currently works as a teaching pro outside Los Angeles.

USTA Southwest

Kelcy McKenna
Age: 25; Hometown: North Bend, OR

McKenna is a former All-American at Arizona State, peaking at No. 3 in singles and No. 16 in doubles in the collegiate rankings. She currently works as an assistant coach at the University of New Mexico.

Stephen Robertson
Age: 26; Hometown: Tualatin, OR

Robertson was an all-Western Athletic Conference performer at Boise State from 2005 to 2009. He currently serves as an instructor at the Vancouver Tennis Center in Vancouver, Wash.

USTA Texas

Karina Traxler
Age: 16; Hometown: Rockwell, TX

Traxler is a product of the USTA Regional Training Center program in Texas. She represented USTA Texas at the Girls’ 16s Intersectionals and the Girls’ 18s National Team Championships.

John Mee
Age: 18; Hometown: Dallas, TX

The highest-ranked junior Texan in the USTA national rankings, Mee represented USTA Texas in the USTA Boys’ 18s National Team Championships in late July.