(June 17, 2013) This week, musical artist and tennis fan Redfoo, of LMFAO, will be competing in the USTA Northern California Sectional Qualifying Tournament. The NorCal sectional qualifier is being held in Salinas, Calif., and Redfoo will play his singles match on Wednesday, June 19, at 5:30 p.m. local time.
In addition, the USTA Eastern, USTA Southern California and USTA New England sectional qualifying tournaments were completed this past weekend, advancing 11 additional players to the 2013 US Open National Playoffs – Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles Championships in August.
LAST WEEK’S RECAP
In the USTA Eastern tournament held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center—the home of the US Open—in Flushing, N.Y., Damon Gooch, 26, of Bethesda, Md., cruised past Richard Del Nunzio, 19, of Forest Hills, N.Y., 6-3, 6-0. Gooch last year won the USTA Mid-Atlantic Sectional Qualifying Tournament without dropping a set. A standout collegiate player at Elon University, Gooch has been a frequent competitor on the ITF Circuit and USTA Pro Circuit in recent years, winning a doubles event in Venezuela in 2010. He was a top-ranked junior in South Africa and competed for the South African junior team before coming to the U.S. for college.
In women’s singles, Magda Okruashvili, 23, of Brooklyn, N.Y., won the Eastern event for the second consecutive year, defeating Alanna Wolff, 18, of Perth Amboy, N.J., 6-0, 6-4. Okruashvili is originally from the country of Georgia and moved to the United States in 2006, where she trains at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. She is currently an assistant tennis coach at ASA College in Brooklyn, where she is also studying for a degree in criminal justice.
In the mixed doubles final, Tarakaa Bertrand, 26, of Jamaica, N.Y., and Sam Sweeney, 25, of New York City, won the title, defeating last year’s USTA Eastern mixed doubles winners Alison Adamski and Keith Kessler in a tight 7-6(5), 4-6, [10-5], match. Bertrand played for Vanderbilt, and Sweeney played at North Central College in Illinois and was ranked No. 5 among Division III players in singles.
USTA Southern California
The men’s final of the USTA Southern California tournament in Claremont, Calif., pitted two standout junior boyss. In the final, Mackenzie McDonald, 18, of Piedmont, Calif., and JC Aragone, 17, of Yorba Linda, Calif., faced off with Aragone prevailing, 6-4, 6-4. McDonald and Aragone were doubles partners in the 2013 Easter Bowl, where the duo reached the final. Prior to the Easter Bowl, Aragone won the 2011 USTA Boys’ 16s National Championships. In 2012, however, Aragone suffered a variety of health problems, including kidney and liver failure, after an allergic reaction to medications for the flu. He was then diagnosed with Type I diabetes. Aragone has played in numerous junior events around the world and this year reached the third round of the USTA International Spring Championships in singles and the quarterfinals in doubles (with McDonald).
McDonald will still get a chance to compete in the US Open, however, after winning the mixed doubles title with partner Chanelle Van Nguyen, 19, of Coconut Grove, Fla. McDonald and Van Nguyen defeated current USC standout Kaitlyn Christian and 2012 USTA Southern California sectional qualifying singles winner Dante Cipulli, 6-3, 7-6(4), in the final. Van Nguyen is a current standout for UCLA and was also a Top 50 junior. She played in the junior US Open twice and lists playing on stadium court at the US Open as her greatest thrill.
No. 1 seed Mayo Hibi, 17, of Irvine, Calif., did not drop one set en route to winning the women’s singles title, defeating No. 2 seed Elizabeth Lumpkin, 27, of Naperville, Ill., 6-3, 6-1, to capture her second consecutive USTA Southern California sectional qualifier women’s singles title. Hibi, who competes for Japan, won the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit singles title in Las Cruces, N.M., this year, where she also reached the doubles title. She also captured the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Hilton Head Island, S.C., last year. As a junior player, Hibi is ranked No. 67 in the ITF World Junior Rankings after winning the 2013 Easter Bowl singles title and the USTA International Spring Championships in back-to-back weeks in April.
USTA New England
In the USTA New England tournament in New Haven, Conn., Nolan Paige, 19, of Fairfield, Conn., captured the New England singles title for the third time in four years. Paige defeated Bryant University standout Dana Parziale, 21, of Cumberland, R.I., 6-0, 7-6, in the final. Paige plays for Stanford and was named the ITA Northwest Region Rookie of the Year this past season. He was one of New England’s top juniors, climbing to No. 5 in the USTA national junior rankings in 2010; he lost just one singles match during his high school career.
In the women’s final, Meghan Kelley, 15, of Falmouth, Maine, defeated Dayna Lord, 17, of Bloomfield, Conn., in a tight match, 5-7, 6-1, 7-6. Kelley, one of the youngest competitors in this year’s competition, has been ranked in the Top 20 in the USTA National Girls’ 14s rankings and won the Girls’ 16s doubles title at the 2012 USTA National Clay Court Championships. Kelley trains at the Manchester Athletic Club in Massachusetts and has also received tennis lessons from Nick Bollettieri. Lord has committed to playing at Brown University.
Kelley also won the mixed doubles title with Daniel Quiceno, 33, of Beverly, Mass., defeating Marjorie Ondeck and Benjamin Zuckerberg, 6-4, 6-2. Quiceno, who teaches at Manchester Athletic Club and once worked at the Bollettieri Academy, was the No. 1 junior in Colombia and starred at Troy University. He has been a hitting partner for Tommy Haas and Maria Sharapova.
The winners or top available finishers from each of the 13 sectional qualifying tournaments held throughout the spring and summer advance to the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles Championships, to be held during the New Haven Open at Yale, an Emirates Airline US Open Series women’s event, in August. The US Open National Playoffs mixed doubles champions receive a main draw wild card into the 2013 US Open, while the men’s and women’s singles champions earn a wild card into the US Open Qualifying Tournament held the week prior to the US Open.
• The USTA Northern California Sectional Qualifying Tournament in Salinas, will take place June 19-22, at Chamisal Tennis Club.
Redfoo, best known as part of the musical duo LMFAO and the hit songs “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It,” will compete in Salinas in singles and mixed doubles. In addition to music, Redfoo is also involved with tennis as a player, fan, coach, and tournament sponsor. Redfoo played tennis as a junior and can be seen as a frequent spectator at Grand Slam tournaments. He also sponsored a USTA Pro Circuit women’s event in Las Vegas last fall, titled “The Party Rock Open” after his Party Rock clothing line.
Redfoo, who is entered under his given name Stefan Gordy, will be playing singles and mixed doubles with 17-year-old Ayaka Okuno, of Japan, whom he coaches. Okuno is ranked in the Top 50 in the ITF World Junior Rankings and recently competed in the junior French Open.
Redfoo’s singles match will be held at 5:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday, June 19, and his mixed doubles match will be held on Thursday.
• The USTA Northern Sectional Qualifying Tournament in Minneapolis will take place June 20-24, at the University of Minnesota’s Baseline Tennis Center; the USTA Midwest tournament in Mason, Ohio, will take place June 22-25, at the Lindner Family Tennis Center; and the USTA Middle States Sectional Qualifying Tournament in West Windsor, N.J., will take place June 22-24, at Mercer County Park.
Visit www.USOpen.org/NationalPlayoffs for additional information on the US Open National Playoffs.