Dreaming Big at the US Open Sectional Tournament
By Office of Communication
Posted on June 20, 2012, June 20, 2012

So Adrien Jenkins isn't ranked among the top tennis players in the world. Or the U.S. Or even North Texas. Yet for a brief, glorious time on Wednesday at the Arlington Tennis Center, there stood the 35-year-old married mother of three, armed with a racquet and hopes of serving up her talent at the prestigious US Open in Flushing, NY.

Of course Jenkins has to get past her opponent tomorrow and then outlast a number of others, but that's the magic behind the USTA US Open Sectional Qualifying Tournament that began Monday and ends with finals on Saturday.

Whether ranked best in the state or merely on the neighborhood block, tennis players good enough to knock off all comers at this tournament and in a US Open National Playoffs next month in New Haven, Conn., earn entry into the US Open in August. The US Open. The one with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.

Men's and women's singles and mixed doubles winners from the Texas US Open Sectional battle it out with winners from other sectionals for the right to get to New York. While it's sometimes seen as a sort of David Versus Goliath proposition, the great thing about tennis, said ATC Facilities Manager Sheryl Osborn.

"We have guys here who are in their 60s and kids who are 14," Osborn said. "It's just great to see the variety of people here playing, from recreational players to top college players. That's the great thing about playing in this tournament. You win, you move on."

It fits the tournament tagline, "The Open is Open. Are You In?"

"It's about people at any level getting a shot at playing in the biggest tournament in the world," said Steve Cobb, Director of Competitive Tennis at USTA-TX.

Cobb said the USTA selected ATC for the third consecutive year because its facilities "are top notch, it's staff the most professional you'll get anywhere, there's a great airport and the city has great amenities."

Player quality is just as top notch. Last year's men's winner, Artem Baradach and runner-up Juan Moreiras as well as Arlington's Colin Hoover, who won the 2010 men's singles, and Ryan Anthony Ybarra, the 2010 men's singles runner up, are all competing.

In mixed doubles, brother-sister duo Harrison and Samantha Adams are defending their mixed doubles title from 2011, and Harrison is also seeded No. 1 in men's singles.

Spectators will get a chance to catch the quarterfinals on Thursday, the semifinals on Friday and the finals Saturday. The best thing: it's free.

Jenkins, who competed at Brigham Young University, is hoping to move beyond her semifinal finish from last year.

"I just don't get a chance to play and practice enough to have a good shot at winning all of it," said Jenkins, whose kids are 12, 8 and 6.

But, "To qualify for the US Open? " Jenkins said. "Now that would be awesome!"

Dreaming Big

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