USTA Press Release, April 6, 2017
The USTA announced Thursday the return of the Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge, which utilizes pro tournaments to award wild cards into the French Open for US-American players. The challenge will be held over the next four weeks, kicking off the week of April 10 and concluding the week of May 1.
New this year for the men’s wild card challenge, USTA Player Development will now consider all American results worldwide for the wild card. Therefore, both USTA Pro Circuit tournaments and international ATP Tour and Challenger tournaments on any professional outdoor clay surface (Har-Tru or red) at prize money of $50,000 and above will be included. The women’s wild card challenge will still consist of results earned at USTA Pro Circuit clay-court events over the next four weeks.
The American man and American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA ranking points from their best two results during the four-week time period will earn main-draw wild cards into the French Open. Only Americans who did not otherwise earn direct entry into the French Open are eligible. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or best WTA singles ranking on Monday, May 8, will be awarded the wild card.
The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2017 French Open and US Open are exchanged.
The Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge will consist of the following events:
- Week of April 10: Houston ATP 250, Marrakech ATP 250, San Luis Potosi $50,000, Barletta €43,000
- Week of April 17: Monte Carlo Masters ATP 1000, Qingdao $125,000, Sarasota, Fla. $100,000
- Week of April 24: Barcelona ATP 500, Budapest ATP 250, Anning $150,000, Tallahassee $75,000, Francavilla €43,000
- Week of May 1: Munich ATP 250, Estoril ATP 250, Istanbul ATP 250, Savannah, Ga. $75,000, Ostrava €64,000
- Week of April 10: Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. $80,000
- Week of April 17: Dothan, Ala. $60,000
- Week of April 24: Charlottesville, Va. $60,000
- Week of May 1: Charleston, S.C. $60,000
The USTA first used the wild card challenge format for its 2012 French Open wild cards, won by Melanie Oudin and Brian Baker. Oudin and Baker each advanced to the second round at that year’s French Open and subsequently broke into the Top 100.
In 2013, Alex Kuznetsov and Shelby Rogers earned the wild cards, with Rogers winning her first-ever Grand Slam singles match at the French Open. In 2014, young American Taylor Townsend and veteran Robby Ginepri received the wild cards, with Townsend becoming a top storyline by reaching the Roland Garros third round. In 2015, young Americans Frances Tiafoe and Louisa Chirico secured the wild cards. Last year, Townsend andBjorn Fratangelo earned the wild cards, with both players winning their first-round matches.
The 2017 French Open main draw will be held Sunday, May 28, to Sunday, June 11.