US Open Wild Card Challenges to Be Decided This Week
Kristie Ahn Leads Francesca Di Lorenzo in Women’s Challenge
Ernesto Escobedo Leads Long List of Contenders in Men’s Challenge
August 5, 2019 – Kristie Ahn and Ernesto Escobedo are both in position to clinch US Open main draw wild cards this week, though challengers on both the men’s and women’s sides are still in the running to possibly overtake them in the final week of the US Open Wild Card Challenges.
Ahn, the 27-year old New Jersey native and Stanford graduate, leads the Women’s Challenge after picking up 125 points for qualifying and reaching the quarterfinals at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic WTA Premier event last week in San Jose. Here are the scenarios in play for the women’s wild card this week:
- Francesca Di Lorenzo, who qualified for the Rogers Cup WTA Premier 5 event in Toronto, is now the only player who can leapfrog Ahn, with a deep run in Canada. The former Ohio State star will have to reach the third round at minimum in Toronto to catch Ahn.
- Second-place Caty McNally — who earned all of her 110 Challenge points last week with her run to the semifinals of the Citi Open, a WTA International event with fewer ranking points to offer per round than a Premier — is not playing this week and therefore cannot finish in first place.
- Third-place Usue Arconada, who won the doubles gold medal with Caroline Dolehide last week at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, withdrew from this week’s USTA Pro Circuit / ITF World Tennis Tour W60 event in Landisville, Pa., and cannot earn any more points to finish in first.
Though Escobedo leads the men’s side of the Challenge, the men’s wild card could go to any number of contenders playing in the USTA Pro Circuit ATP Challenger 90 in Aptos, Calif., this week or Tommy Paul, who qualified for the Rogers Cup ATP Masters 1000 event in Montreal.
Both wild cards will go to the American with the highest cumulative total of ATP or WTA singles ranking points earned from their best three results during the five-week window. Should the player with the highest number of Challenge points earn direct entry into the US Open, the wild card will go to the next eligible American in the Challenge points standings. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or best WTA singles ranking on August 12 will earn the wild card.
The US Open Wild Card Challenge will consist of these remaining events:
- Week of August 5: Rogers Cup ATP Masters 1000 (Montreal); ATP Challenger Tour 90 (Aptos, Calif.) and 80 (Yokkaichi, Japan)
- Week of August 5: Rogers Cup WTA Premier (Toronto); ITF World Tennis Tour W60 (Landisville, Pa.)
All USTA Pro Circuit tournaments will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com. This is the eighth consecutive year the USTA has used a wild card challenge format to award US Open wild cards for American players. Previous US Open Wild Card Challenge winners (and how they did at that year’s US Open) are below:
2018: Bradley Klahn (1R), Asia Muhammad (1R)
2017: Tommy Paul (1R), Sofia Kenin (3R)
2016: Ernesto Escobedo (2R), Sofia Kenin (1R)
2015: Bjorn Fratangelo (1R), Samantha Crawford (1R)
2014: Wayne Odesnik (1R), Nicole Gibbs (3R)
2013: Bradley Klahn (2R), Shelby Rogers (1R)
2012: Steve Johnson (3R), Mallory Burdette (3R)
The 2019 US Open main draw will be held August 26 to September 8.