Varvara Lepchenko Leads Australian Open Wild Card Challenge after Week 1
Men’s Challenge Begins with Four Events This Week
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., October 29, 2018 – Former world No. 19 Varvara Lepchenko won her first singles title since 2011 on Sunday to take a big first step toward her 10th-straight main draw appearance at the Australian Open this January.
The 32-year old Lepchenko defeated Paraguayan Veronica Cepede Royg on Sunday to win the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Macon, Ga. — her 12th career pro circuit singles title and first since 2011, the year before she broke into the Top 20 following the 2012 US Open. Her 115 Challenge points earned for the title well outpaces second-place Allie Kiick, who earned 42 for a semifinal finish in Macon.
Click here to view the full women’s standings after the first week.
Lepchenko, who was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, moved to the U.S. in 2002, settling in Allentown, Pa. She has represented the U.S. since 2007, including at the 2012 London Olympics.
Lepchenko is among the many American women competing in this week’s USTA Pro Circuit $80,000 event in Tyler, Texas, the only women’s event counting toward the Challenge in Week 3.
The women’s wild card will be awarded to the American with the highest cumulative total of WTA singles ranking points earned from their best three results during those four weeks, at three $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit women’s events (main draw points only) and one WTA $125,000 event (main draw and qualifying points).
The men’s side of the Challenge begins this week with results from any hard-court event at the Challenger level or above around the world. The men’s wild card will go to the American with the highest cumulative total of ATP singles ranking points earned from their best two results during the three-week men’s window.
Only Americans who do not earn direct entry into the Australian Open are eligible. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or best WTA singles ranking on Nov. 19 will be awarded the wild card.
All USTA Pro Circuit tournaments will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com. The Challengewill consist of the following events:
- Week of October 29: ATP Masters 1000 (Paris); USTA Pro Circuit $75,000 Challenger (Charlottesville, Va.); ATP $75,000 Challengers (Canberra, Australia; Shenzhen, China)
- Week of November 5: ATP €106,000 Challenger (Bratislava, Slovakia); ATP €85,000 Challenger (Mouilleron-le-Captif, France); USTA Pro Circuit $75,000 Challenger (Knoxville, Tenn.)
- Week of November 12: ATP $150,000 Challengers (Houston; Bangalore, India); USTA Pro Circuit $75,000 Challenger (Champaign, Ill.); ATP $50,000 Challenger (Kobe, Japan)
Remaining Women’s Events
- Week of October 29: USTA Pro Circuit $80,000 Event (Tyler, Texas)
- Week of November 5: USTA Pro Circuit $80,000 Event (Las Vegas)
- Week of November 12: WTA $125,000 Series Event (Houston, Texas)
The 2019 Australian Open will be held January 14-27.