WHITE PLAINS, April 6, 2018
The USTA announced on Friday the return of the Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge, which utilizes pro tournaments to award wild cards into the French Open for American players. The challenge will be held over the next four weeks, kicking off the week of April 9 and concluding the week of April 30.
For the men’s wild card challenge, USTA Player Development will consider all American results worldwide for the wild card. 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 (qualifying and main draw points). The women’s wild card challenge will still consist of results earned at four USTA Pro Circuit clay-court events over the next four weeks in the United States (main draw points only).
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 7, will be awarded the wild card.
The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2018 French Open and US Open are exchanged.
All USTA Pro Circuit tournaments will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com. This is the seventh consecutive year the USTA has used a wild card challenge format to award French Open wild cards for American players.
The Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge will consist of the following events:
- Week of April 9: Houston ATP 250, Marrakech ATP 250, Mexico City $100,000, Barletta €43,000
- Week of April 16: Monte Carlo Masters ATP 1000, Sarasota, Fla. $100,000, Tunis $75,000
- Week of April 23: Barcelona ATP 500, Budapest ATP 250, Anning $150,000, Tallahassee $75,000, Francavilla €43,000
- Week of April 30: Munich ATP 250, Estoril ATP 250, Istanbul ATP 250, Savannah, Ga. $75,000, Ostrava €64,000
- Week of April 9: Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. $60,000
- Week of April 16: Dothan, Ala. $80,000
- Week of April 23: Charlottesville, Va. $80,000
- Week of April 30: Charleston, S.C. $80,000
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 veteranRobby 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 and in 2016, Townsend and Bjorn Fratangelo earned the wild cards, with both players winning their first-round matches.
Last year, Tennys Sandgrenand Amanda Anisimova earned the wild cards with Anisimova being the youngest player to compete in the Roland Garros main draw since Alize Cornet in 2005 at age 15. After their results last year and so far this year, Sandgren and Anisimova have burst onto the tennis scene with Sandgren reaching the quarterfinals of the 2018 Australian Open and Anisimova currently ranked a career-high No. 130 in the world after reaching the semifinals in Indian Wells.