USTA Press Release, August 9, 2019
Ernesto Escobedo earned a main draw wild card into the US Open tonight through the US Open Wild Card Challenge. The 23-year old from Los Angeles clinched first place in the Challenge by defeating Bjorn Fratangelo, 7-6(2), 6-7(5), 7-6(12), in a nearly three-hour third-round match at the USTA Pro Circuit ATP Challenger 90 event in Aptos, California.
The Challenge measures ranking points earned at hard-court tournaments over a five-week period to award a US Open singles main draw wild card to an American man and woman who didn’t otherwise earn direct entry. Escobedo won the singles title at the ATP Challenger 90 event in Granby, Canada, in Week 2 of the Challenge that earned him the bulk of his points.
The Challenger title was Escobedo’s first in nearly three years. He rose to a career-high No. 67 in the world shortly after his 21st birthday in 2017, but is now ranked No. 214. He is now working with coach Jan-Michael Gambill, a partnership that began in March.
Escobedo joins Kristie Ahn as the 2019 Challenge winners. This is the eighth consecutive year the USTA has used a wild card challenge format to award US Open wild cards for American players. Previous US Open Wild Card Challenge winners (and how they did at that year’s US Open) are below:
2018: Bradley Klahn (1R), Asia Muhammad (1R)
2017: Tommy Paul (1R), Sofia Kenin (3R)
2016: Ernesto Escobedo (2R), Sofia Kenin (1R)
2015: Bjorn Fratangelo (1R), Samantha Crawford (1R)
2014: Wayne Odesnik (1R), Nicole Gibbs (3R)
2013: Bradley Klahn (2R), Shelby Rogers (1R)
2012: Steve Johnson (3R), Mallory Burdette (3R)
The 2019 US Open main draw will be held August 26 to September 8.