FORT WORTH, Texas (July 29, 2016) – The USTA announced that 2012 Summer Olympic silver medalist and former world No. 37 Laura Robson of Great Britain is one of the competitors that headlines the main draw at the 2016 Fort Worth Pro Tennis Classic, a $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit Event at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center on the campus of TCU from July 31-Aug. 7.
The tournament is taking place in Fort Worth for the fifth consecutive year and is one of five USTA Pro Circuit women’s events taking place in Texas this year. The competition marks the third of four consecutive hard-court events to begin the summer hard-court season in preparation for the US Open.
Currently ranked No. 278, Robson is one of the 18 women who received direct acceptance into the 32-player main draw. Sixty-four players will compete in the qualifying tournament from July 31-Aug. 2, for the eight other berths. A local wildcard tournament, along with the USTA, determined the wild card entries that completed the field.
Belgium’s Elise Mertens, who is ranked No. 137 in the world, was awarded the top seed in the tournament as she holds 10 ITF Circuit singles titles in her career. The main draw also includes two former All-Americans from USC and Arizona State in Danielle Lao and Jacqueline Cako, respectively. Lao holds two USTA Pro Circuit/ITF Circuit singles title s and three doubles crowns, while Cako who the 2014 US Open National Playoffs mixed doubles championship to earn a wild card into the mixed doubles draw at the US Open.
Recent UCLA graduate Catherine Harrison won the wild card tournament that took place last week to secure her spot in the main draw, while former Bruin teammate Chanelle Van Nguyen was also awarded a wild card into the main draw. A pair of up-and-coming teenagers from the United States in Nicole Coopersmith and Maria Mateas round of the wild card entries in the main draw.
Admission to the Fort Worth Pro Tennis Classic is free during every day of the competition. Starting on July 31 with the qualifying tournament, professional athletes from around the world will be competing for $25,000 in prize money, as well as valuable WTA Tour Ranking points. This year’s tournament will benefit H.O.P.E. FARM, which will receive part of the proceeds from the event.
About the USTA Pro Circuit
With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and 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 players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit in 1979 to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Victoria Azarenka, Eugenie Bouchard, John Isner, Madison Keys, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Sam Querrey and Caroline Wozniacki are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.
By Abby Norman
Tournament Press Aid