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Jensen Slams US Open National Playoffs with Nephew

Luke Jensen fist pumps nephew Jonah Faucett in their first-round loss in men's doubles, falling to Erik Everett and William Schneider.
June 17, 2016 09:57 AM

Above: Luke Jensen fist pumps nephew Jonah Faucett in their first-round men's double match, where they fell to Erik Everett and William Schneider. Read the story on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website.

By Rick Limpert / Special to USTA Southern

Link to tournament schedule and results.


Luke and Murphy Jensen lift 1993 French Open men's doubles trophy . Photo courtesy of Patricia Jensen

Grand Slam doubles champ Luke Jensen will turn 50 this Saturday. He could have chosen nearly any local player to join him in doubles. But, he reached down to probably the youngest player ever to play the US Open National Playoffs USTA Southern Sectional Qualifying Tournament.

For Jonah Faucett, of Dallas, Ga., it helps to have a famous uncle who doesn't seem worried about bridging a 37-year-old age gap to bond with family.

Jensen, one half of the Jensen brothers doubles team, along with younger brother Murphy, were the 1993 French Open men's doubles champion. Additionally, they were two-time major mixed doubles finalists at the Australian Open in 1996 and the French Open in 1996. Luke also was a member of the 1992 U.S. Davis Cup championship team and an All-American at Southern California. Jensen reached as high as No. 6 in the ATP World Tour doubles rankings in September 1993.

Both brothers have appeared commentators on Tennis Channel. But, Murphy is best known for his zany antics and dress.

Faucett, a rising seventh-grader who is only 13 years old, is the son of Rachel Jensen Faucett, who played briefly on WTA World Tour,

Jonah may be the youngest player in the playoffs. Players must be 14 before the start of the US Open and Faucett squeezed in by just 15 days. For Uncle Luke, it's more than just tennis; it's about helping Jonah grow as a tennis player and a person.

"The tournament experience helped lay the foundation for the person I am today. Even after all of these years, I still have lasting friendships and memories as a young teenager exploring a new world through the game of tennis," Jensen said.

Jensen and Faucett are set to take to the courts of Life Time Athletic at Peachtree Corners in Norcross, Ga., on Tuesday, June 21 at 2 p.m. in an attempt to first qualify for the playoffs finals which will be held in New Haven, Conn. starting August 23, and then ultimately earn a spot in the men's doubles draw.

The tournament is scheduled to end on June 26 but check the tournament page for schedules and results.

Other top players

A whopping 127 players in total, including a whopping 36 teams in the men's doubles, will attempt to advance through the USTA Southern qualifying tournament, in the five different draws, led by these two former Grand Slam champions.

This is the seventh year of the playoffs and a chance for players 14 years of age and older to earn a place in five draws of the US Open this August. Winners at the Southern playoffs will be among the 15 champions or top available finishers in each division from each sectional qualifying tournament. They will advance to the US Open National Playoffs Championships, held in conjunction with the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event, in New Haven, Conn. The winners playoffs will be placed in the men’s singles qualifying, women’s singles qualifying, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles draws as wildcards.

Georgia State University men's head coach Brett Ross is entered in the men's doubles with former US Open Southern Section qualifier, Marcus Hurtig of Woodstock, Ga. Ross, a former Wake Forest standout will be joined by another former Demon Deacon player, his top assistant, Jonathan Wolff, who is entered in the singles draw.

Zac Dunkle, 25, is a former All Southern Conference player at Samford and currently resides in Canton Ga. Dunkle is a semifinalist in the 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open Wildcard Challenge, where he can earn a spot into the qualifying draw of the ATP World Tour 250 event to begin the end of July in Atlanta.

Elyse Lavender is the top seed in the women's singles. The Wilson, N.C. resident recently advanced to the round of 16 at the Legacy Credit Union Women's $25K tournament in Pelham, Ala. She has reportedly committed to play at LSU in 2017.

Andrew Goodwin, 24, is a former University of Alabama player who hails from Alpharetta, Ga. and Northview High School. Goodwin is entered in mixed doubles with current Alabama women's player Aryn Greene and doubles with former Georgia Tech and University of Charlotte player Vikram Hundal.

Five-star recruit and Harvard signee Galen Lee of Woodstock, Ga. will be playing singles and doubles.

Dunwoody Ga. native and member of the University of Kentucky's men's team Trey Yates is entered in the singles. Yates went 12-10 as a sophomore with the Wildcats, including 6-5 in SEC play and was named to the All SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Former Georgia Tech women's player Alexandra Anghelescu is entered in the mixed doubles with another former Southern playoffs qualifier Danie van den Heever.

Former Georgia State player and All-Sun Belt Conference performer Masa Grgan will be playing in the women's doubles with Maria Primatic of Savannah, Ga. Grgan played doubles in the 2013 NCAA championships and advanced to the second round.

Alpharetta’s Kay siblings -- Casey, Michael and Whitney -- all DI college standouts are all perennial favorites to contend for US Open National Playoffs titles.