Music sensation Redfoo, of the music group LMFAO, and “Heroes” TV star Sendhil Ramamurthy have both entered the 2013 US Open National Playoffs, which provides the opportunity for all players 14 years of age and older to earn a berth into the US Open.
Redfoo has entered the USTA Northern California Sectional Qualifying Tournament in Salinas, Calif., June 18-23. Ramamurthy has entered the USTA Eastern Sectional Qualifying Tournament held at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center at the home of the US Open, June 9-15. Both celebrities will compete in singles and mixed doubles.
Redfoo, 37, is a rapper, dancer and DJ, best known as part of the musical duo LMFAO, whose hit “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It” dominated the music charts. Redfoo, who formed LMFAO in 2006, is set to release his first solo album this year. The multi-talented artist is also involved with tennis in a variety of ways—as a player, a fan, a coach, and a tournament sponsor.
Redfoo played tennis as a junior and has recently been seen as a spectator at many of the Grand Slam tournaments. He also sponsored a USTA Pro Circuit women’s event last September, titled “The Party Rock Open” after his Party Rock clothing line, which was won by young American Lauren Davis. Redfoo, who is entered under his given name Stefan Gordy, will be playing singles and mixed doubles with 17-year-old Ayaka Okuno, who he is currently coaching. Okuno is ranked a career-high No. 28 in the ITF World Junior Rankings.
“As a kid, it's always been a dream of mine to play professional tennis,” he said. “Thanks to the US Open National Playoffs for giving good players with a dream the chance to qualify for one of the biggest tournaments—the US Open. Every day I see my dream!”
Ramamurthy, 38, was a competitive junior tennis player in Texas who always had dreams of going pro, but fell back on his safety profession—acting. Perhaps best known for playing Dr. Mohinder Suresh on NBC's “Heroes,” Ramamurthy also co-starred on “Covert Affairs,” “The Office,” and in the current “Beauty and the Beast” on the CW. In film, his feature credits include the independents “Shor,” “Brahmin Bulls” and “The Lifeguard.”
“I’m psyched to compete in this year's US Open National Playoffs,” said Ramamurthy. “Since I was a young player, I always dreamed of snagging a spot at the Open. I am also excited to play on the grounds of the US Open, where all of the action happens and where there is so much US Open history.”
Other celebrities and personalities who have competed in the US Open National Playoffs include Olympic skier Bode Miller, former Major League baseball player Todd Walker, and ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, who teamed with six-time US Open champion Chris Evert in mixed doubles.
Online entry and additional information for each of the 13 sectional qualifying tournaments began is at www.USOpen.org/NationalPlayoffs. The entry fee for each of the sectional qualifying tournaments is $100 for singles and $120 for each mixed doubles team ($60 per player). All players competing must have a current USTA membership valid through August 26, 2013.
The US Open National Playoffs begin as a series of sectional qualifying tournaments and will be held in 13 USTA Sections throughout the country. The 13 men’s, women’s and mixed doubles champions or top available finishers from each sectional qualifying Doubles Championship. All three championships will be held in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event.
The US Open National Playoffs men’s and women’s singles champions earn a wild card into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held the week prior to the US Open. The US Open National Playoffs mixed doubles champions receive a wild card into the main draw of the 2013 US Open.
Additional information is available at www.USOpen.org/NationalPlayoffs.