New York has been the breeding ground for several Grand Slam champions including John McEnroe and Mary Carillo, but the next one might come from right here in Brooklyn.
Gail Brodsky has received direct entry into the qualifying draw of the women's singles event at the US Open with her current WTA ranking of No. 237. The 20-year-old, who now trains in California at the Mark Weil Tennis Academy, but was born and raised in Coney Island and trained throughout the borough, is the only player from Brooklyn to have ever competed in the US Open.
Brodsky turned pro at the 2008 US Open after becoming the No. 1 ranked junior player in the country. In her previous appearances at the event, she lost in the first round of the main draw in 2008 and 2009.
The last 12 months have been a breakout period for the Brooklynite. Ranked No. 647 in the world rankings in August 2010, she won two $10,000 events in Portugal (September 2010) and Guadeloupe (January 2010), and recently won a $25,000 tournament last month in Spain. Earlier this month, she reached a career high ranking of No. 217.
The qualifying rounds for the US Open will be held at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing from August 23-26. Competitors must win three rounds to advance into the main draw, which will be held from August 29-September 11.