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McCarthy clinches spot is US Open National Playoffs

Cary native Kailtyn McCarthy added a major win to her resumé at the 2015 US Open National Playoffs – Southern Qualifying Tournament, capturing the singles title and earning her first trip to New Haven with a straight-set victory over Andie Daniell.

McCarthy, who is committed to play at Duke this fall, breezed through the first set, relying on her consistent ground strokes. The fourth game was pivotal as Daniell let two break points slip away as she kept up the offense but didn’t find her range. McCarthy found the right angles with her winners and took control.

The second set was more of a contest as Daniell began to force the play with her powerful shots. With a hold in the seventh, she took her first lead of the match. But it was short-lived as top-seeded McCarthy went on a late-match tear, taking the last three games. In the 10th game, she finally held on the eighth deuce and put away the final game with two aces.

“I’ve been working on my serve. Tyus Jones, who’s on the Duke basketball team, has been an inspiration. He shoots like 90 percent on his free throws,” McCarthy said. “In free throws you are all on your own. It’s a lot like serving.”

For her win, McCarthy earned a spot in the 2015 US Open National Playoffs - Championships on Aug. 21-29 in New Haven, Conn., during the Connecticut Open, a WTA 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 and men's and women's champions receive a wild card into the main draws of the 2015 US Open.

The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs to expand the footprint of the US Open to cities nationwide by providing the opportunity for all players 14 years of age and older to earn a berth into the US Open.