NCAA champs headline American Collegiate Invitational field

July 15, 2015 10:32 AM

By Sally Milano,

America's top collegiate tennis players will take center stage alongside the world's biggest tennis stars this September at the second American Collegiate Invitational at the 2015 US Open.

2015 NCAA champions Jamie Loeb, a rising junior from the University of North Carolina, and Ryan Shane, a rising senior from the University of Virginia, lead the group of U.S. collegiate players selected to play in the event, which will take place Sept. 10-12 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., home of the US Open.

Loeb (pictured above) won the women's title at last year's event, while former UCLA star Marcos Giron, who now competes on the pro tour, captured the men's championship in 2014.

The American Collegiate Invitational, open only to American college players, began last year as a way to spotlight college tennis during the US Open. Eight men and eight women will again play single-elimination singles tournaments Thursday through Saturday during the second week of the Open, with the winners receiving wild cards into the 2016 US Open, main draw or qualifying, depending on their ranking next summer.

“It is important that college tennis continues to be a part of the US Open,” said US Open Tournament Director David Brewer. “We are excited to once again feature a high level of competition between some very talented players.”

In addition to Shane, the men's players set to compete in the invitational include former Vanderbilt standout Gonzales Austin of Miami; former Virginia All-American Mitchell Frank from Annandale, Va.; Virginia rising junior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski of Charlotte, N.C.; former Columbia star Winston Lin of Williamsville, N.Y.; UCLA rising junior Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont, Calif.; and Notre Dame rising senior Quentin Monaghan of Chatham, N.J.

Joining Loeb in the women's field are eight-time UCLA All-American Robin Anderson of Matawan, N.J.; Florida rising sophomore Brooke Austin of Indianapolis; Virginia rising senior Julia Elbaba of Oyster Bay, N.Y.; former Georgia standout Lauren Herring of Greenville, N.C.; Florida rising sophomore Josie Kuhlman of Ponte Vedra, Fla.; and Cal rising junior Maegan Manasse of Redondo Beach, Calif. 

In addition to the players who have already been selected to compete, the USTA will also issue one men’s and one women’s wild card to fill out each field of eight. The fields are comprised of the top two players in the ATP/WTA rankings (as of June 1) and the top five players in the year-end Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles rankings (excluding those selected by pro ranking), including at least two graduating seniors or players who have turned pro/exhausted their collegiate eligibility.

Austin, Frank, Lin, Anderson and Herring completed their senior years in May.

The men’s and women’s American Collegiate Invitational champions will receive main-draw wild cards into the  2016 US Open if either is ranked No. 120 or better by the US Open entry deadline next summer. Otherwise, the winners will receive qualifying wild cards. The champions will also get wild cards into two USTA Pro Circuit events, while each runner-up will earn one wild card.




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