USTA Pro Circuit Enters its 32nd Season

January 11, 2011

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The USTA announced that the 32nd season of the USTA Pro Circuit began today with the Plantation Open, a combined men’s and women’s clay court event in Plantation, Fla. In total, the 2011 USTA Pro Circuit will feature 88 events — including a record 30 tournaments scheduled to be played on clay — and a total prize money purse in excess of $3 million.

The Plantation Open begins a string of four consecutive $10,000 men’s Futures events and two consecutive $25,000 women’s events to be played on clay in Florida.

American Jesse Levine and Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal are the No. 1 seeds in their respective entry fields at Plantation. Levine, a former All-American at the University of Florida, reached the third round at Wimbledon in 2009, while Larcher de Brito had advanced to the third round of the 2009 French Open as a 16-year-old qualifier.

Other players scheduled to begin their season in Plantation include: 2010 US Open boys’ finalist Denis Kudla; Beatrice Capra, who reached the third round of the 2010 US Open; Christian Harrison, who won the boys’ 16s title at the 2008 USTA International Spring Championships as a 13-year-old and was sidelined for much of 2009 and 2010 with injuries; Shelby Rogers, the reigning USTA Girls’ 18s National Champion; University of Virginia freshman Alex Domijan, who spent much of 2009 as the No. 1 player in the USTA Boys’ 18s national standings; and Julie Ditty, the all-time leader in career USTA Pro Circuit titles with 36.

With prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis professionals, and a frequent battleground for established players. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit for valuable ATP and WTA Tour ranking points. Administered on the local level, it is played on local tennis courts as part of the fabric of communities nationwide-an opportunity for current and new fans to experience the excitement and intensity of the professional game in their neighborhood.

Since 1979, 15 USTA Pro Circuit alums (including five Americans) achieved the No. 1 world singles ranking. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport, Jelena Jankovic, Pete Sampras, Justine Henin, Jim Courier and Andre Agassi are among the game’s top stars who began their career on the USTA Pro Circuit. The past few years have seen breakout performances by USTA Pro Circuit players, including that of Melanie Oudin, Sam Querrey and John Isner.