(July 22, 2014) With one week left in the women’s US Open Wild Card Challenge, a berth into the 2014 US Open main draw will be decided this week at the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships, a $50,000 event in Lexington, Ky.
The race for the women’s wild card is tight, with Nicole Gibbs winning the singles title at the USTA Player Development $50,000 Women’s Classic in Carson, Calif., on Sunday, to take the lead in the standings with 88 points. Gibbs, a two-time NCAA champion for Stanford, defeated fellow American and 2009 US Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin, 6-4, 6-4, in the Carson final. Julia Boserup is in second place in the wild card challenge with 63 points after reaching the final at the $50,000 event in Sacramento, Calif., two weeks ago and advancing to the quarterfinals in Carson. Oudin, who was playing in her first hard-court tournament since March in Carson, is in third place with 48 points.
The men’s wild card challenge kicked off last week with the Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger, a $50,000 Challenger in Binghamton, N.Y. Wayne Odesnik advanced to the final in Binghamton to take the early lead with 48 points. The men’s wild card challenge continues into its second week, also in Lexington.
All matches will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com.
USTA Player Development will award a US Open main draw wild card to the American man and American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA ranking points in a series of USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events this summer. The men’s events are $50,000 Challengers in Binghamton and Lexington, Ky., as well as $100,000 Challengers in Vancouver, B.C., and Aptos, Calif. The women’s tournaments are all $50,000 events, held in Sacramento, Calif.; Carson; and Lexington.
Ranking points from two out of the three women’s events and two of the four men’s events will be used and combined to calculate the point total and determine the US Open wild card recipient. If a player competes in more than two events, only his or her two best tournaments will be counted in calculating the point total. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or WTA singles ranking will be awarded the wild card. Only players who have not earned direct acceptance into the US Open are eligible for the wild card.
The standings, as of July 21, are as follows:
The USTA first used this US Open wild card format for its 2012 wild cards, won by Steve Johnson and Mallory Burdette, both of whom reached the third round of the US Open. It was also used in 2013, when the winners were Bradley Klahn, who won his first-round match at the US Open, and Shelby Rogers. The USTA also utilizes this format for the French Open through the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge, where this year’s women’s winner Taylor Townsend was a top story at Roland Garros, reaching the third round. Veteran Robby Ginepri won the 2014 men’s French Open wild card.