USTA Tennis starts US Open qualifying series in Hawai’i

Sports

The USTA Pro Women’s Tennis Circuit is coming back to Hawaii.

The US Open Wild Card Challenge starts next week on the campus of the University of Hawaii. It begins a long road of tournaments ending with the points champion getting a berth into the US Open.

Last year Mililani grad Alyssa Tobita made her professional debut in the tourney and won her first match. Now she’s back again.

“So many people were so supportive,” Tobita said. “They were cheering for me. It was really exciting. So it’s really exciting to be back her again and have a little more experience playing professionally. So I’m really really exited.”

This event last year was Tobita’s first pro tournament after graduating from the University of Oregon. Tobita’s game improved greatly in he time as a Duck, making the NCAA singles tournament as a senior.

Tobita is coming off playing through tournaments in Mexico over the past month. She made it to the quarterfinal round in all three tournaments. And finished runner up in her final doubles tournament. Currently, she is trying to work her way up in smaller pro events, while improving her game.

“I don’t have expectations,” Tobita said ahead of the US Open Wild Card Challenge. “But it’s just such a great opportunity to play here and I’m so lucky to be able to play at home. A lot of people can’t say that they’re playing in front of their home crowd in Hawaii. It would be unbelievable at one of the grand slams. I can’t even imagine doing that right now. But that would be an unbelievable surreal experience.”

Tobita will play both singles and doubles. she’ll pair with her former partner at Oregon for the first time since college, in the doubles tournament.

Play starts this Monday. Tobita plays her first match on Tuesday.

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