USTA Press Release, November 20, 2018
Sixteen-year old former world junior No. 1 Whitney Osuigwe clinched a main draw wild card into the 2019 Australian Open on Sunday night via the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge. Shuai Peng’s victory over Lauren Davis in the final of the Oracle WTA $125,000 event in Houston Sunday night clinched the wild card for Osuigwe, who will make her Grand Slam main draw debut outside of the U.S. in Melbourne in January.
Jack Sock, now ranked No. 106, finished atop the men’s Challenge, with Reilly Opelka (No. 98) and Bradley Klahn (No. 77) coming in second and third, respectively. Thanks to Opelka’s and Klahn’s results during the three-week Challenge window — Opelka winning back-to-back USTA Pro Circuit $75,000 Challengers in Knoxville, Tenn., and Champaign, Ill., and Klahn claiming the title at the Oracle $150,000 Challenger in Houston — they’re both likely to receive direct entry into Melbourne. Should Sock also receive direct entry, the wild card would go to fourth-place Tommy Paul, who is ranked No. 205.
The Australian Open direct entry fields are usually released the first week in December. The top points earner in the Challenge who does not receive direct entry will get the wild card.
Osuigwe won the women’s Challenge with 160 points, outpacing second-place Varvara Lepchenko (140) and third-place Davis (126). The former French Open girls’ champion and Bradenton, Fla., native won her first professional singles title at the USTA Pro Circuit $80,000 event in Tyler, Texas. Osuigwe made her Grand Slam main draw debut at the 2018 US Open via wild card entry after winning the USTA Girls’ 18s national championship.