May 21, 2013
Scottsdale, Ariz. --- In the golf movie Tin Cup, Kevin Costner's character Roy McAvoy calls the U.S. Open Golf Tournament "the most democratic golf tournament in the world" because anyone can win their way into it. The same is true of tennis' U.S. Open, and New Mexico Lobo assistant women's tennis coach Kelcy McKenna just got one major step closer.
McKenna competed in the U.S. Open National Playoff Southwest Section Qualifying Tournament, winning the section tournament in singles and mixed doubles. That advanced her to the U.S. Open National Playoffs, where she will compete August 16-19 in singles, and from August 21-24 in doubles in conjunction with the New Haven Open in New Haven, Connecticut. She will play at Yale University.
A win in the National Playoffs in singles will advance Kelcy to the U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament as a wild card, which would take place at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York the week prior to the U.S. Open. A win in mixed doubles (she is paired with Stevie Robertson, a former player at Boise State) would automatically qualify them for the U.S. Open as a wild card qualifier.
McKenna won four matches in Scottsdale at the Southwest qualifier in singles, including a win over future Lobo Rachana Bhat. She defeated Alexandria Letzt, a 15-year old 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 to win the sectional.
"I don't think there was a moment in the match that I felt I could let up because Alex was just playing hard, solid tennis," McKenna said to AZCentral.com. "I was really impressed with her composure, how she competed and how she struck the ball. It was a fun match to play."
"The University of New Mexico athletic department is probably one of the coolest places to work," she added. "Allowing me to come play this and still compete, I think that just speaks volumes about (head coach Erica Perkins Jasper)."
Qualifying was slightly easier in mixed doubles, if only because she and Robertson needed just two wins to advance to New Haven.