2015 INFORMATION
The US Open National Playoffs is a series of tournaments that gives any player 14 years of age or older who meets the eligibility requirements the opportunity to qualify for the 2015 US Open. Fourteen sections will host a Sectional Qualifying Tournament this Spring to include men’s singles, women’s singles and mixed doubles with thirteen of the participating sections adding men’s doubles and women’s doubles (new for 2015). Players/teams will compete in a single elimination draw. Singles players will play to the best-of-three tiebreak sets and doubles teams will play two tiebreak sets, no-ad scoring, with a match tiebreak in lieu of a third set. Within each singles division, players will be seeded based on their Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) at the Tournament Referee's discretion. Within each doubles division, the top two teams will be seeded based on their ATP/WTA computer ranking (if any).

The winner or top finisher of each Sectional Qualifying Tournament in each division (men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, mixed doubles) will advance to the US Open National Playoffs Championships in their respective division. The winner of each Singles Championship (1 male, 1 female) will receive a wild card entry to compete in the 2015 US Open Qualifying Tournament, August 25-28, 2015. The winners of the Men’s & Women’s Doubles Championship (1 men’s team, 1 women’s team) will receive a wild card entry to compete in the 2015 US Open Doubles Championship, commencing September 2, 2015. The winner of the Mixed Doubles Championship (1 team) will receive a wild card entry to compete in the 2015 US Open Mixed Doubles Championship, commencing September 2, 2015. The US Open takes place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

DATES OF PLAY

All Sectional Qualifying Tournaments will take place between April 1, 2015 and July 4, 2015. Click here for a complete schedule. Be sure to check the tournament’s home page on TennisLink for exact start dates and times.

PLAYER ELIGIBILITY

By nature of the US Open National Playoffs concept, the Sectional Qualifying Tournaments are as inclusive and open as possible with the following guidelines & restrictions in place:

 • Players must be 14 years of age or older (as of Aug. 31, 2015).
 • Open to Amateurs and Professionals.
 • U.S. citizenship is not required.
 • No domicile restrictions for players.
 • A player must be a current USTA member and must maintain his/her membership through and inclusive of Aug. 31, 2015.
 • All players must be in good standing with the ITF, including but not limited to complying with WADA.
 • Able/non-able bodied players may compete alongside one another and shall abide by their respective rules of play.
 • A player may only compete in one (1) Sectional Qualifying Tournament during a calendar year in each division; players competing in men’s singles or women’s singles and mixed doubles may opt to compete at different Sectional Qualifying Tournaments (one for singles and one for mixed doubles).
 • Participation in the US Open National Playoffs will not impact a player’s ability to secure a 2015 US Open Qualifying Tournament or Main Draw Wild Card or receive a Direct Acceptance into the 2015 US Open Singles Championship, 2015 US Open Doubles Championship or 2015 US Open Mixed Doubles Championship.

DRAW SIZE / SEEDING / BYES

The draw size at each Sectional Qualifying Tournament will be a maximum of 256 players for men’s singles, a maximum of 256 players for women’s singles, a maximum of 128 teams for mixed doubles; and, if applicable, a maximum of 128 teams for men's doubles and a maximum of 128 teams for women's doubles. a maximum of 128 teams for men's doubles, women's doubles or mixed doubles. Sectional Associations may not cap the draw size below the maximum allowed draw sized. All players will compete in a single elimination draw.

Within each singles division, players competing in a Sectional Qualifying Tournament shall be seeded based on their Universal Tennis Rating (UTR). The number of players seeded shall equal a power of two (e.g., 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 or 32). The maximum ratio of players seeded shall be one to three. The Tournament Referee shall have ultimate discretion as to how players are seeded. Byes, if any, will be allocated to the seeded players - in order from the top seed to the last player seeded. The rest of the byes, if any, will be evenly distributed throughout the draw. After the "Lottery Selection Process" is completed to determine accepted entries and prior to the draw, Universal Tennis will produce a list ordered from top to bottom of all the players who currently possess a Universal Tennis Rating. The National Tournament Director will communicate this list to the Tournament Referee and Tournament Director.

Within each doubles division, teams competing in a Sectional Qualifying Tournament shall be seeded based on their combined ATP/WTA computer ranking (if any). Only the top two (2) teams shall be seeded in their respective draws. In order for a team to be seeded, both members of the team must have a ATP/WTA doubles ranking. The computer ranking list dated seven (7) days prior to the Monday of the tournament week shall be used when determining seeds. If there are not two (2) teams with a ATP/WTA computer ranking, then no teams shall be seeded. Byes, if any, will be allocated to the top seed followed by the second seed. The rest of the byes, if any, will be evenly distributed throughout the draw. After the "Lottery Selection Process" is completed to determine accepted entries and prior to the draw, the National Tournament Director will determine the top two (2) seeds in the doubles divisions (if any). The National Tournament Director or designated representative will communicate the seeds (if any) to the Tournament Referee and Tournament Director.

The draw size at the Championships will be a maximum of 16 in each division. The top four (4) players/teams competing in a Championship Tournament shall be seeded using their ATP/WTA computer ranking (if any). The computer ranking list dated seven (7) days prior to the Monday of the tournament week shall be used when determining seeds. If less than four (4) players/teams with a ATP/WTA computer ranking are competing in a Championship Tournament, then only those ranked shall be seeded. Byes, if any, shall be given to the top seed first followed by the remaining seeds. The rest of the byes, if any, shall be evenly distributed throughout the draw.

MATCH FORMAT

All men’s singles and women’s singles matches will be played to the best-of-three tiebreak sets. If the Referee needs to take steps to shorten the tournament (i.e. due to inclement weather, health concerns, or safety concerns) to keep the tournament on schedule, the tournament may switch to any other scoring method (i.e., No-Ad Scoring, 10-Point Match Tiebreak in lieu of final set or Pro Sets) with prior approval by the National Tournament Director or authorized representative. All men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles matches will consist of two tiebreak sets, no-ad scoring, with a match tiebreak in lieu of a third set (first team to 10 points). For all mixed doubles matches, at deuce, the male player will serve to the opposing male player and the female player will serve to the opposing female player. The tournament may not switch to any other scoring method for the men's doubles, women's doubles or mixed doubles competition.

SURFACE TYPE

All US Open National Playoffs matches will take place on hard courts. Outdoor courts are preferred although indoor courts may be used at the tournament’s discretion.

USTA MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENT

All players competing in a Sectional Qualifying Tournament must be current members of the USTA and their membership must be valid through Aug. 31, 2015. Players will be required to submit their USTA Membership Number during the online registration process for the tournament. Players who need a USTA membership or need to renew their existing membership will be directed to do so during the online registration process for the tournament. Adult players (i.e., participants 19 years of age and older) who are new to the USTA will be offered a one-year Special Rate Adult membership for $30.00. Youth players (i.e., participants age 18 and younger) will be offered a one-year Special Rate Junior membership for $20.00. New/renewed memberships will be valid for one (1) year from the date of submission. Players may compete in any Sectional Qualifying Tournament regardless of their membership section.

ENTRY FEE

The entry fee for players competing in a Sectional Qualifying Tournament shall be determined by each Sectional Association as long as such entry fee is within the range established by the USTA and listed herein:

• Men’s Singles = $75.000 - $100.00 per player
• Women’s Singles = $75.000 - $100.00 per player
• Men's Doubles = $45.00 - $60.00 per player
• Women's Doubles = $45.00 - $60.00 per player
• Mixed Doubles = $45.00 - $60.00 per player

The entry fees do not include any processing fees. For players competing in men's doubles, women's doubles or mixed doubles, it will be the responsibility of one of the team members to register and pay for both players during the online registration process. A player’s entry fee will only be processed if he/she is accepted into the tournament.

ENTRY PROCESS

Entry for each Sectional Qualifying Tournament must be completed online through TennisLink at www.usta.com/TennisLink prior to the entry close date for that tournament. Entry will be open for all Sectional Qualifying Tournaments on March 15, 2015, and closed no later than ten days prior to the start of the tournament. Late entries will not be permitted after the entry close date, unless approved by the National Tournament Director, and no alternates will be allowed (even to replace withdrawals). Click on one of the USTA sections under Sectional Qualifying Tournaments on the main page for information on their tournament and a direct link to register.

The Tournament Director will run a "Lottery Selection Process" via TennisLink within 48 hours after the entry close date which will automatically accept all entries if the total number of entries into the Sectional Qualifying Tournament is less than or equal to 256 players for the men’s singles and women’s singles divisions and less than or equal to 128 teams for the mixed doubles, men’s doubles and women’s doubles divisions. If the total number of entries into the Sectional Qualifying Tournament is greater than the above, then the "Lottery Selection Process" will automatically determine accepted entries at random. Entries will not be refused on the basis of race, creed, sexual orientation, color, or national origin. All players accepted into the Sectional Qualifying Tournament will receive an email notification via TennisLink indicating as such and will be posted on the tournament’s home page once the "Lottery Selection Process" is run. All players not accepted into the Sectional Qualifying Tournament will receive an email notification via TennisLink indicating as such once the "Lottery Selection Process" is run.

All players are required to complete a "US Open National Playoffs Player Release and Consent Form" prior to the player’s first match. The release will be posted for download on the tournament’s home page on TennisLink as a PDF file. Players will be asked for this form upon check-in at the tournament.

ENTRY RESTRICTIONS

Players may compete at different Sectional Qualifying Tournaments in each division (one for men’s singles or women’s singles, one for mixed doubles, or one for men’s doubles or women’s doubles).  However, players are only allowed to compete in one Sectional Qualifying Tournament during a calendar year per division.

Players competing in men’s doubles, women’s doubles or mixed doubles must play with the same partner for all matches they are eligible to compete in as part of the US Open National Playoffs (i.e., Sectional Qualifying Tournament, Championship Tournaments, US Open Championships) and no substitutions shall be allowed.  No substitutions shall be allowed for the Sectional Qualifying Tournaments after the entry close date, unless approved by the National Tournament Director.  Prior to the entry close date for the Sectional Qualifying Tournaments, players may change partners via TennisLink.

If a player is not accepted in a Sectional Qualifying Tournament once the "Lottery Selection Process" is run, then the player will have the ability to enter another Sectional Qualifying Tournament that still has open registration (if any). If a player withdraws online from a previously entered Sectional Qualifying Tournament prior to the entry close date, then the player will have the ability to enter another Sectional Qualifying Tournament that still has open registration (if any). If a player withdraws from a previously entered Sectional Qualifying Tournament after the entry close date, then the player will not have the ability to enter another Sectional Qualifying Tournament that still has open registration (if any), unless approved by the National Tournament Director.

PLAYER WITHDRAWALS / ALTERNATES

A player may withdraw online before the entry close date without penalty as a player’s entry fee will only be processed once the "Lottery Selection Process" is run through TennisLink and he/she is accepted into the tournament. A player may not withdraw online after the entry close date. If a player withdraws after the entry close date by contacting the Tournament Director, he/she is not entitled to receive a refund; however, such a decision will be at the Tournament Director’s discretion. A player should not withdraw from a Sectional Qualifying Tournament except for illness, injury, personal circumstance, or previously authorized entry into another tournament. If a seeded player/team withdraws more than 24 hours prior to the start of the first match of the tournament, the player/team who would have been seeded next will be placed on the vacated line and that player’s/team’s original line will become a bye. If a seeded player/team withdraws less than 24 hours prior to the start of the first match of the tournament, it will result in a walkover.

MAKING THE DRAW

The draw will be conducted by the Tournament Director or authorized representative in consultation with the Tournament Referee. Since late entries are not permitted, the draw should be conducted within 24 hours of running the "Lottery Selection Process" but no later than two days prior to the start of the tournament. Once the seeds and byes have been designated (if any), the draw will be uploaded to TennisLink and posted on the tournament’s home page. A player may submit a request to the Tournament Director for special scheduling before the draw is made; however, such requests will be granted at the Tournament Director’s discretion.

MATCH OFFICIALS / BALLPERSONS

The regulations for the US Open National Playoffs are The Rules of Tennis as published by the International Tennis Federation (ITF Rules of Tennis). With the exception of the finals, all Sectional Qualifying Tournament matches will be player-officiated with a minimum of one Roving Umpire for every three courts in use plus one Tournament Referee or one Tournament Deputy Referee present at all times while matches are in progress to handle player disputes. Players will follow The Code in all player-officiated matches (first round through semifinals). Each final match will be officiated by a Chair Umpire plus five Line Umpires. All matches at the Championships will be officiated by a Chair Umpire plus five Line Umpires. The USTA reserves the right to determine if electronic review will be used at the Championships. Electronic review will not be used at any Sectional Qualifying Tournament.

ROLE OF COURT OFFICIALS

In matches where a Chair Umpire is assigned, the Chair Umpire will be the final authority on all questions of fact during the match. The players have the right to call the Referee or Deputy Referee to court if they disagree with a Chair Umpire’s interpretation of tennis law. In matches where Line Umpires are assigned, they make all calls relating to that line. The Chair Umpire has the right to overrule a Line Umpire if the Chair Umpire is certain that a clear mistake has been made. The Chair Umpire is responsible for calling any line or net where no Line Umpire is assigned.

BALLPERSONS

The use of ballpersons at each Sectional Qualifying Tournament will be at the tournament’s discretion. Ballpersons will be used for all matches played at the Championships.

CLOTHING AND SHOE RESTRICTIONS

The Tournament Director or Tournament Referee will determine any reasonable restrictions related to clothing and/or shoes for their Sectional Qualifying Tournament; however, shirts must be worn by players at all times while matches are in progress and players must wear non-marking tennis shoes. Any additional restrictions will be communicated by the Tournament Director or Tournament Referee to all players in advance of their participation. Players who compete in the Championships will abide by all US Open clothing/shoe restrictions. These restrictions will be communicated by the Tournament Director to all players in advance of their participation.

MATCH REST PERIODS / NO. OF MATCHES PER DAY

Players shall adhere to continuous play, 20 seconds between points and 90 seconds for a changeover. At the end of each set, there will be a set break of 120 seconds. The minimum rest between matches will be 60 minutes if a match lasts less than 90 minutes or 90 minutes if a match lasts more than 90 minutes; either of which may be extended by the Tournament Referee at his/her discretion. No player will play more than three matches per day, a maximum of two of which may be singles. A player may play two singles matches and one doubles match per day or one singles match and two doubles matches per day or three doubles matches per day. A match should neither start nor a suspended match resume before 8 a.m. or after 10 p.m.

BALL TYPE / BALL POLICY

Wilson will be the official ball of the US Open National Playoffs. Wilson US Open Extra Duty balls will be used for all men’s singles and men’s doubles matches and Wilson US Open Regular Duty balls will be used for all women’s singles, mixed doubles and women’s doubles matches. The number of balls for play at each Sectional Qualifying Tournament match is four. For the early rounds (first round through semifinals), ball changes will only take place if the match goes to a third set. Ball changes during each final match will be at nine and eleven. Players are not guaranteed balls for practice.

PRIZE MONEY / AWARDS

Given the amateur status and/or age of players eligible to compete in the US Open National Playoffs, prize money may not be awarded by Sectional Associations at any Sectional Qualifying Tournament. The USTA shall design and produce a trophy for the winner and runner-up of each Sectional Qualifying Tournament. All trophies provided to the winner and runner-up of each Sectional Qualifying Tournament shall be at the USTA’s expense and provided to the Sectional Association in advance of their Sectional Qualifying Tournament.

The National Tournament Director shall contact the winner of each Sectional Qualifying Tournament with a formal invitation to compete in their respective Championship Tournament and review the necessary details to confirm their participation. Should the winner of a Sectional Qualifying Tournament elect not to compete in the Championship Tournament for any reason, the runner-up of the respective Sectional Qualifying Tournament shall be invited to attend by the National Tournament Director. Should the runner-up elect not to compete in the Championship Tournament for any reason, the Sectional Association shall waive their Sectional Qualifying Tournament spot in the respective Championship Tournament. Sectional Qualifying Tournament winners who choose not to compete in their respective Championship Tournament shall be disqualified from competing in any Sectional Qualifying Tournament the following year (exceptions may be made at the discretion of the National Tournament Director – e.g., due to a partner’s injury). Sectional Qualifying Tournament winners or top finishers who qualify for multiple Championship Tournaments and choose not to compete in all of the Championship Tournaments in which they have qualified shall be disqualified from competing in the other Championship Tournament(s) (exceptions may be made at the discretion of the National Tournament Director – e.g., due to a partner’s injury). There shall be no additional entry fee required for the Championship Tournaments. All players competing in a Championship Tournament shall be responsible for all costs and expenses associated with their participation (e.g., travel, accommodations, meals, etc.).

The USTA shall design and produce a trophy for the winner and runner-up of each Championship Tournament. Following the conclusion of each Championship Tournament, the National Tournament Director shall contact the winner with a formal invitation to compete in the 2015 US Open Qualifying Tournament, the US Open Mixed Doubles Championship, the US Open Men’s Doubles Championship, or the US Open Women’s Doubles Championship and review the necessary details to confirm his/her participation. Should the winner of a Championship Tournament elect not to compete in the US Open Qualifying Tournament, the US Open Mixed Doubles Championship, or the US Open Doubles Championship for any reason, the runner-up shall be invited to compete. Should the runner-up elect not to compete for any reason, then the designated wild card shall be used at the USTA’s sole and absolute discretion. All players who accept a wild card entry into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, the US Open Mixed Doubles Championship, or the US Open Doubles Championship shall be responsible for all costs and expenses associated with their participation (e.g., travel, accommodations, meals, etc.). Anyone competing at the 2015 US Open must sign a standard entry form before being allowed to compete.

CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT ALTERNATES

After the final Sectional Qualifying Tournament is completed, alternates shall be selected to fill the remainder of the sixteen (16) places in the Championship Tournaments.  The alternates shall be selected from the final round of the Sectional Qualifying Tournaments and accepted in the following order:

  • Players/Teams with the highest ATP or WTA singles/doubles ranking on the Monday following the final Sectional Qualifying Tournament. In order for a team to be ranked, both members of the team must have a ATP/WTA doubles ranking. Ties shall be drawn by lot.
  • All other players/teams shall be drawn by lot.  

In the event of a withdrawal of a player/team prior to their first round of the Championship Tournament, this order shall be maintained.  Any additional alternates shall be expected to be on-site at the Championship Tournament to be eligible to compete as an alternate.  In no case shall a player/team who lost before the final round of a Sectional Qualifying Tournament be eligible for the Championship Tournament.

PLAYER RANKINGS

All US Open National Playoffs events will be included in the USTA National Rankings for Professional Tennis. Players will only receive points by reaching the quarterfinal, semifinal or final round of any US Open National Playoffs event according to the guidelines established by the USTA. The USTA reserves the right to make changes to the tournaments used and the point structure at any time.

ANTI-GAMBLING

All players competing in the US Open National Playoffs and individuals associated with the operation and/or management of the US Open National Playoffs must refrain from participating in or aiding and abetting, directly or indirectly, any form of gambling or betting on the outcome of any tennis match staged in connection with any professional tennis event, including but not limited to all events associated with the US Open National Playoffs and other USTA events.

ANTI-DOPING

The USTA believes that the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with and contrary to the best interests of the sport. While the USTA is committed to ensuring a fair and drug-free competition, drug testing will not be required or administered at any Sectional Qualifying Tournament. Players and Tournament Officials participating in the Championships may be required to undergo drug testing. Players who receive a wild card entry into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, US Open Mixed Doubles Championship or US Open Mixed Doubles Championship through the US Open National Playoffs may be required to undergo drug testing either as a result of governmental or other binding regulations imposed upon the event, or as a result of a drug testing program that is approved and applicable to all players competing in the 2015 US Open.

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