May 13, 2010

News Release

For Immediate Release

US Open Qualifier Showcases Best Tennis Players

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board will host its first US Open National Playoffs Missouri Valley Sectional Qualifying Tournament beginning at 8 a.m., Saturday, May 15 through Monday, May 17 at Cooper Tennis Complex, 2331 E. Pythian St.

The tournament is the first of its kind by the United States Tennis Association, allowing players 14 and older the chance to compete for a wild-card berth into the 2010 US Open. The men’s field in Springfield contains 36 players, ranging in age from 14 to 62 years of age. The women’s field has 16 players. All players have a wide range of backgrounds and skill level.

Springfield is one of 16 qualifying tournaments taking place in USTA sections around the United States this summer. Each section winner will advance to the US Open National Playoffs Qualifying Championship, with the winner of that earning a spot in the US Open qualifier at Flushing Meadows, N.Y. in August.

The tournament is free and open to spectators. For tournament information, call Cooper Tennis Complex at 417-837-5800. 

A few notable player entries in the Springfield-metro area include:

Doug Elly (50, Springfield): Played No. 1 in college tennis at Missouri State University from 1985-1988. Current No. 1 ranked singles player in the USTA Missouri Valley Section Men’s 45 & Under, formerly ranked as high as No. 2 in singles and No. 1 in doubles nationally. Represented the United States in the 2009 ITF Senior International World Group Championships in Mallorca, Spain. Long-time Cooper Tennis Complex Teaching Professional and Teaching Pro at Hickory Hills Country Club. 

Dr. Howard Jarvis (n/a, Springfield): Emergency Medicine physician at Cox Hospital in Springfield for 15 years and USPTA Certified Teaching Professional. He played tennis for Graceland University (NAIA) from 1987-1991 and was an Academic All-American in 1990.

Sean Kembell (n/a, Springfield): Head Tennis Coach at Branson High School. Former No. 2 ranked doubles player and No. 5 ranked singles player at Missouri State University (2001-2002). Fitness instructor for Ozarks Regional YMCA.

Will Little (14, Joplin, Missouri): The youngest male in the field, Little is the top-ranked 14-year-old in the USTA Missouri Valley section. 

Paul Nahon (16, Springfield): No. 1 ranked player for Glendale High School and Champion of the 2010 Ozark Conference and Springfield Invitational High School Tournaments. Current ranking of No. 6 in Boy’s 18 & Under Singles in the USTA Missouri Valley Section (Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri & Kansas), and current ranking of No. 213 nationally. Took third place at the 2009 MSHSAA Boy’s High School State Championships. 

Elle Prewitt (17, Springfield): Current No. 1 tennis player for Greenwood High School.  Current ranking of No. 108 in singles in the USTA Missouri Valley Section, Girls 18 & Under. Finished in 8th place at the 2009 MSHSAA Girl’s High School State Championships in the individual competition. 

For more information, media contact: Eli Gieryna, USTA MO Valley, 913-322-4827 or 913-575-2477; or Larry Haugness, Cooper Tennis Complex, 417-837-5800.