BINGHAMTON, July 22, 2017
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced the main draw wild card selections for the 24th Levene Gouldin & Thompson (LG&T) Tennis Challenger, a $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit event held at Binghamton’s Recreation Park, July 22-30. US-Americans Tommy Paul, Christian Harrison, William Blumberg and Alex Rybakov have been chosen as wild card participants for the event. This is the second year in a row that all four wild cards have been named to US-Americans.
A two-day qualifying tournament will begin on Saturday, July 20, deciding the final four spots in the singles main draw. The tournament is the seventh USTA Pro Circuit men’s challenger event of the 2017 season. The LG&T Challenger is once again part of the US Open Wild Card Challenge, which awards a men’s wild card into the US Open in August based on results over a five-week span at select tournaments. The Challenger also features a 16-team doubles tournament.
Harrison possesses the highest ranking of the four wild cards at No. 279. The 23-year old is the brother of ATP Tour pro Ryan Harrison and currently trains at the prestigious IMG Academy in Bradenton. He has climbed over 1,000 ranking points in the last year to reach his current standing which is also his career high. Harrison has won two International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures titles with his most recent victory in August of 2016 in Champaign, Illinois. Paul (No. 290) leads the race for the US Open Wildcard Challenge after reaching the semifinals in the Winnetka Challenger last week. A 2015 French Open juniors champion, the 20-year old from BocaRaton, Florida has won six futures titles in the past two years.
Blumberg recently wrapped up his freshman year at the University of North Carolina where he was the NCAA Singles Runner-Up. The 19-year old was named the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and a singles and doubles All-US-American. He was also the 2017 ITA National Rookie of the Year and ACC Freshman of the Year after he finished with a 31-3 singles record, going undefeated against ACC opponents. Born and raised in Connecticut, Blumberg has since made a qualifier of the only futures event he’s played in and won a qualifying match at the ATP Newport event.
Rybakov (No. 629) just completed his sophomore year at Texas Christian University (TCU), finishing with a 23-2 singles record. He was a 2017 ITA Singles All-American and a 2016 ITA National Men’s Rookie of the Year and Texas Region Rookie of the Year. Since the end of the NCAA season, the native of Plainview, New York has won the futures event in Buffalo and qualified at the Winnipeg Challenger last week.