USTA Press Release, July 17, 2018
Jessica Pegula and Collin Altamirano have the lead in the US Open Wild Card Challenge after Week 1, with Pegula’s run to the finals at the $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Honolulu and Altamirano reaching the semifinals of the $75,000 Challenger in Winnetka, Ill.
Pegula’s 48 points outpace the 29 of Danielle Lao and Emina Bektas, who are tied for second place after reaching the semifinals in Hawaii. Altamirano earned 32 points for the semifinal appearance in Winnetka. Tommy Paul and Mitchell Krueger are tied for second with 15.
Pegula, a 24-year old Buffalo native currently ranked No. 289, reached a career-high No. 123 in June of 2013 before a knee injury sidelined her for more than a year. Her best result at the US Open came after returning to play in 2015, when she qualified and reached the second round.
Altamirano, a 22-year old from Sacramento currently ranked No. 387, played three seasons at the University of Virginia, winning three NCAA team championships before turning pro last fall. He beat Jared Donaldson to win the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championship in 2013 to earn a main draw wild card into the US Open, where he lost to Philipp Kolhschreiber in the first round. He made his only other appearance at the US Open the following year when he lost in qualifying.
The women’s side of the Challenge includes only the USTA Pro Circuit $60,000 event in Berkeley, Calif., this week, where a number of Americans in the running for the wild card are entered, including Nicole Gibbs, Kristie Ahn, Jamie Loeb, Grace Min and Francesca Di Lorenzo.
The men’s Challenge will include results from the $75,000 ATP Challenger in Gatineau, Quebec, this week, where Bradley Klahn, Ernesto Escobedo, Mitchell Krueger and Alex Sarkissian are entered. Results from the $125,000 Challenger in Astana, Kazakhstan, would have counted, but no Americans are entered.
Only hard-court events are included in the Challenge, which will consider the best three results for the men and the best two results for the women during this five-week window. Only Americans who do not earn direct entry into the US Open are eligible. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or best WTA singles ranking on Aug. 13 will be awarded the wild card.
The remaining events in the US Open Wild Card Challenge:
- Week of July 16: Astana, Kazakhstan $125,000; Gatineau, Canada $75,000
- Week of July 23: Atlanta ATP 250; Granby, Canada $100,000; Binghamton, N.Y. $75,000
- Week of July 30: Washington D.C. ATP 500; Los Cabos ATP 250; Chengdu, China $125,000; Segovia, Spain €85,000+H; Lexington, Ky. $75,000
- Week of August 6: Toronto ATP Masters 1000; Jinan, China $150,000; Aptos, Calif. $100,000; Portoroz, Slovenia €64,000+H
- Week of July 16: Berkeley, Calif. $60,000
- Week of July 23: Ashland, Ky. $60,000
- Week of July 30: San Jose WTA Premier; Washington, D.C. WTA International; Lexington, Ky. $60,000
- Week of August 6: Landisville, Pa. $60,000