American tennis professional, Luke Jensen seen it all and done it all when it comes to professional tennis, except for qualifying for the last major championship of 2016, by going through sectional qualifying in the U.S. Open National Playoffs.
Starting Monday, June 20, Jensen will take to the courts of Life Time Athletic at Peachtree Corners in Norcross, Ga., in an attempt to first qualify for the Playoffs Finals which will be held in New Haven, Conn. starting August 23, and then ultimately earn a spot in the Men’s Doubles draw for Jensen and the Mixed Doubles draw for Johnson.
127 players in total, including an impressive 36 teams in the men’s doubles, will attempt to advance through the USTA Southern qualifying tournament, in the five different draws, led by this former Grand Slam champion.
Jensen, one half of the “Jensen Brothers” doubles team, along with younger brother Murphy, were the 1993 French Open men’s doubles champion, and he also was a two-time major mixed doubles finalist at the Australian Open in 1996 and the French Open in 1996. He also was a member of the 1992 U.S. Davis Cup championship team and an All-American at USC. Jensen reached as high as No. 6 in the ATP World Tour doubles rankings (September, 1993).
Jensen has signed up for the men’s doubles qualifying with his nephew, Jonah Faucett, a rising seventh-grader from Dallas, Ga. 13-year old Faucett, may be the youngest player in the U.S. Open National Playoffs as he won’t turn 14 until just before the U.S. Open starts in August. For “Uncle Luke” it’s more than just tennis, it’s about helping Jonah grow as a tennis player and a person.
“The tournament experience helped lay the foundation for the person I am today. Even after all of these years, I still have lasting friendships and memories as a young teenager exploring a new world through the game of tennis.”
For others, it’s a “once in a lifetime” chance to play in the U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing and an opportunity to make their own U.S. Open “moment.”
This is the seventh year of the playoffs and a chance for players 14 years of age and older to earn a place in five draws of the U.S. Open this August. The winners of the U.S. Open National Playoffs will be placed in the men’s singles qualifying, women’s singles qualifying, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles draws as wildcards.
Other players of note playing in Norcross include:
Georgia State University men’s head coach, Brett Ross, is entered in the men’s doubles with former US Open Southern Section qualifier, Marcus Hurtig of Woodstock, Ga. Ross, a former Wake Forest standout will be joined by another former Demon Deacon player, his top assistant, Jonathan Wolff, who is entered in the singles draw.
Zac Dunkle, 25, is a former All Southern Conference player at Samford and currently resides in Canton Ga. Dunkle is a semifinalist in the 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open Wildcard Challenge, where he can earn a spot into the qualifying draw of the ATP World Tour 250 event to begin the end of July in Atlanta.
Andrew Goodwin, 24, is a former University of Alabama player who hails from Alpharetta and Northview High School. Goodwin is entered in mixed doubles with current Alabama women’s player Aryn Greene and doubles with former Georgia Tech and University of Charlotte player, Vikram Hundal.
Five-star recruit and Harvard signee, Galen Lee of Woodstock, Ga. will be playing singles and doubles.
Dunwoody Ga. native and member of the University of Kentucky’s men’s team, Trey Yates, is entered in the singles. Yates went 12-10 as a sophomore with the Wildcats, including 6-5 in SEC play and was named to the All SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Former Georgia Tech women’s player, Alexandra Anghelescu, is entered in the mixed doubles with another former Southern Playoffs qualifier, Danie van den Heever.
Former Georgia State player and All Sun Belt conference performer, Masa Grgan, will be playing in the women’s doubles with Maria Primatic of Savannah. Grgan played doubles in the 2013 NCAA Tennis Championships and advanced to the second round.
The Kay’s. Casey, Michael and Whitney, all D-I college standouts from Alpharetta are all perennial favorites to contend for U.S. Open National Playoffs titles.