WHITE PLAINS, May 7, 2019 (USTA Press Release)
Whitney Osuigwe, Bernarda Pera and Lauren Davis are all still in the running to clinch a main draw wild card into the 2019 French Open this week by winning the women’s side of the USTA’s Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge.
The 17-year old Osuigwe can clinch the wild card by winning the singles title at the USTA Pro Circuit ITF World Tennis Tour W100 event in Bonita Springs, Fla., though she would also clinch the wild card with losses by Pera and Davis. The 24-year-old Pera is playing the W80 event in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, and must win the title there and have Osuigwe lose in Bonita Springs to earn the wild card. Davis, 25, is also playing in Bonita Springs and must win the title there and have Pera lose in France to earn the wild card.
The women’s side of the Challenge counts each players’ points from their best two results during its four-week window. Osuigwe leads Pera in the Challenge standings, 200-110, on the strength of her singles title at the W80 in Charlottesville, Va. (115 points), and her final appearance at the W100 in Charleston, S.C. (85 points). Pera’s 110 points come from her run to the semifinals at the WTA International in Prague last week, so Pera will add all of her points earned in France to her Challenge total — a title victory would put her at 225 — while Osuigwe can only add points by winning the title in Bonita Springs, which would give her a maximum point total of 255. Davis, in third, earned 70 points from a final appearance at the W80 in Dothan, Ala., and can add 140 for a maximum of 210 with a title in Bonita Springs.
Only Americans who did not otherwise earn direct entry into the French Open are eligible. Taylor Townsend, while currently ranked No. 103, earned direct entry based on her No. 84 ranking when the field was announced on April 17.
In the event of a tie, the player with the best WTA singles ranking next Monday will earn the wild card. Pera is currently ranked No. 84, Osuigwe No. 124 and Davis No. 132.
This is the eighth consecutive year the USTA has used a wild card challenge format to award French Open wild cards for American players. Previous Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge winners (and how they did at that year’s French Open) are below:
2019: Tommy Paul
2018: Noah Rubin (1R); Taylor Townsend (2R)
2017: Tennys Sandgren (1R); Amanda Anisimova (1R)
2016: Bjorn Fratangelo (2R); Taylor Townsend (2R)
2015: Frances Tiafoe (1R); Louisa Chirico (1R)
2014: Robby Ginepri (1R); Taylor Townsend (3R)
2013: Alex Kuznetsov (1R); Shelby Rogers (2R)
2012: Brian Baker (2R); Melanie Oudin (2R)
The 2019 French Open main draw will be held Sunday, May 26, to Sunday, June 9.