The U.S Tennis Assn. announced Tuesday that former top 30 player Bethanie Mattek-Sands, former U.S. Open junior champion Jack Sock and two-time reigning NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson of USC are among the players who will compete in the Australian Open wild-card playoffs, held Dec. 14-16, at Life Time Athletic & Tennis at Peachtree Corners in Norcross, Ga.
The men's and women's winners will earn berths in the Australian Open main draw in January.
Eight men and eight women will compete in the fourth annual playoffs. The USTA secured the opportunity through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia in which the two national tennis federations exchanged wild cards for the 2012 U.S. Open and 2013 Australian Open.
Sock, the 20-year old who reached the third round of the this year's U.S. Open and claimed the 2011 U.S. Open mixed doubles title with Melanie Oudin, headlines the men’s field at his career-high rank of No. 150. Since winning the 2010 U.S. Open junior championship, becoming the first American to do so since Andy Roddick in 2000, Sock has won three USTA Pro Circuit titles, including a Challenger in October, to rise nearly 500 spots in the rankings in the last two years.
The 22-year old Johnson, who won NCAA singles titles at USC in 2011 and 2012, also headlines the men’s field after advancing to the third round of the U.S. Open and winning a USTA Pro Circuit Challenger title this summer.