The United States Tennis Association Player Development will award a US Open main draw wild card to one American man and one American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA Tour ranking points in a series of USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events this summer. Men’s events include $50,000 Challengers in Binghamton and Lexington, Ky., as well as $100,000 Challengers in Vancouver, B.C., and Aptos, Calif. Women’s tournaments include $50,000 events in Sacramento, Carson, and Lexington.
The USTA first used this US Open wild card format for its 2012 wild cards, won by Steve Johnson and Mallory Burdette, who both reached the third round of the US Open, as well as the 2013 US Open, which was won by Bradley Klahn, who won his first round match, and Shelby Rogers.
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.