INDIAN WELLS, Calif., March 4, 2015 – Former World No. 4 and Grand Slam Champion Juan Martin del Potro, Americans Tim Smyczek, Ryan Harrison, Denis Kudla, Austin Krajicek, Nicole Gibbs, Taylor Townsend, Grace Min, Louisa Chirico, Sachia Vickery and Bethanie Mattek-Sands; and teenage rising star Donna Vekic were all granted wildcards into the main draws of the BNP Paribas Open, to be held March 9-22 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, it was announced today by Tournament Director Steve Simon.
Argentina’s del Potro, who won the 2009 US Open, reached the quarterfinals of Sydney this year, and is rebounding from left wrist surgery on January 19 of this year. This will be his first tournament since Sydney, and he has played in Indian Wells five times with his best result coming in 2013 when he reached the finals.
In addition, ten Americans have been granted wildcards into the main draws including Smyczek, who battled Rafael Nadal in a four-hour long, five-set second round match at the Australian Open in January, where he was lauded for allowing Nadal to replay a serve late in the match after a disruption from the crowd; Harrison, who reached a ranking of 43 in the world in 2012 and reached the semifinals in Acapulco last week; Kudla, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 90 last summer; Krajicek, who reached his first ATP World Tour quarterfinal in Memphis in February; Gibbs, who reached the third round of the US Open and quarterfinals at Seoul last year; Townsend, who reached the third round of last year’s French Open; Min, who reached the semifinals at Bad Gastein last year, and is currently at a career-high ranking on No. 97 in the world; Chirico, who has four ITF titles, two singles and two doubles; Vickery, who reached the second round of the 2013 US Open; and Mattek-Sands, who reached the third round at this year’s Australian Open in singles and captured the doubles title with Lucie Safarova.
One other international player receiving a wildcard into the main draw is 18-year old Croatian Vekic, who won the first WTA title of her career at Kuala Lumpur last season. The last women’s wildcard was awarded earlier this year to World No. 1 and two-time BNP Paribas Open Champion Serena Williams.
“This year’s BNP Paribas Open main draw wildcards add more depth to our already talented fields with Grand Slam Champions Juan Martin del Potro and Serena Williams,” said Simon. “They also provide young American stars like Ryan Harrison, Nicole Gibbs and Taylor Townsend, the opportunity to compete at the BNP Paribas Open.”
Qualifying wildcards were given to Americans Mackenzie McDonald, Taylor Fritz, Julia Boserup, Maria Sanchez, Tornado Black, Allie Kiick, Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei and Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann.
McDonald is a 19-year old at UCLA who at Cincinnati in 2013 became the first unranked teenager to qualify for an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament since Sergio Casal (1995, Miami); 17-year-old San Diego resident Taylor Fritz advanced to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open Junior Championships this January; Boserup has captured two ITF singles titles in her career; Sanchez is a former USC standout and top-ranked collegiate singles player who turned pro in 2011; sixteen-year-old Black has already won two ITF singles titles and earned her highest career ranking in 2014; Kiick made her way inside the top 150 in 2014; Hsieh reached World No. 23 in 2013, making her the highest ranked Taiwanese female singles player ever, and captured the doubles title in 2014 at the BNP Paribas Open; and Hanfmann was No. 1 in both singles and doubles during the 2013-2014 USC tennis season, and helped his team to the 2014 NCAA Championship.
In addition to the aforementioned qualifying wildcards, the men’s and women’s winners of the BNP Paribas Open Challenge, the pre-qualifying event for the tournament taking place March 2-7, will also be granted a berth into the 2015 BNP Paribas Open qualifying draw, which starts March 9 for the women, and on March 10 for the men.