July 21, 2022 – Taylor Townsend has been tabbed to play Coco Gauff in the Sunday Showdown delivered by UPS feature women’s event to kickoff the 2022 Atlanta Open. The annual women’s exhibition jump starts off the men’s ATP event takes place on July 24. This year’s ATP 250 event will run from July 23-31, in Midtown, Atlanta as the U.S. Open Series kicks off on the North American hardcourts at Atlantic Station.
Townsend will replace the injured Leylah Fernandez. The 26-year old has been a fixture in the top-100 for years. She is an aggressive all-court player; strengths are forehand, net game and her slice backhand. In 2012, she was the No. 1 ranked junior in the world, winning the Australian Open Juniors in singles and doubles. Taylor thrilled the US Open crowds in 2019 when she stunned reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep en route to the fourth round, and made another big announcement on Instagram, revealing she was expecting her first child. Taylor has successfully become one of the tennis-playing moms on the WTA Tour. She has been ranked in the top-70 on the WTA rankings and is also an accomplished doubles player. Off the court, she has received rave reviews for her analysis and commentary on Tennis Channel.
Tournament Director Eddie Gonzalez also announced the final two wildcard recipients to the main and qualifying singles draws.
Receiving a singles main draw wildcard is University of Florida star player, Ben Shelton. After reaching the finals at the Rome (GA) Challenger earlier this month, Shelton is up to a career high ranking of No. 323. The tall lefty won the 2022 NCAA Singles Championship and currently leads the 2022 USTA US Open Wildcard standings for a main draw singles wildcard into the 2022 U.S. Open. Ben’s father, Bryan, is a former World No. 55, winning two ATP Tour titles (Newport 1991-92). This will be Ben’s first ATP level singles main draw.
Gonzalez also announced that top US junior player Bruno Kuzuhara has accepted a wildcard into the singles qualifying. Born in Brazil, his family moved to the U.S. when he was an infant and now lives in Coconut Creek, Florida. He has trained under Brian Baker at the USTA National Campus in Florida. In 2021, the 18-year old made his US Open debut playing in the mixed doubles draw. Atlanta will be his ATP debut. As the No. 1 seed, Bruno won the 2022 Australian Open in Boy’s Singles and went on to win the doubles title as well. At 17 years old, he became the fourth American in the Open Era to claim the junior singles title, following in the footsteps of Andy Roddick, Donald Young and Sebastian Korda. He was also the first player since 2011 to sweep the singles and doubles events.
In player field news, Andy Murray has had to withdraw due to injury.