USTA Press Release, November 11, 2019
Twenty-one-year-old Michael Mmoh took the men’s lead into the final stretch of the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge by winning the USTA Pro Circuit Challenger 80 in Knoxville, Tenn., last week.
Mmoh, with 83 Challenge points, has a substantial lead over second-place Brandon Nakashima (36) and the three players tied for third place, who all have 15. Nine players still have a chance to overtake Mmoh this week with their performances in either Houston or Champaign, though all but Giron (in Houston) would have to win the title and have Mmoh lose relatively early in Houston. Mmoh could clinch the Challenge by reaching the final.
The women’s tournament in Houston this week features a deep field of American contenders who could overtake leader Katerina Stewart, who isn’t playing there. Francesca Di Lorenzo, Danielle Lao and Shelby Rogers all have 80-plus points in the standings and can add on to those totals, given that the women’s Challenge counts a player’s best three results from a four-week window. Di Lorenzo could overtake Stewart by reaching the Houston quarterfinals, while Rogers and Lao would need to reach the semis.
Click here to view the full Challenge standings.
Americans who otherwise earn direct entry into the Australian Open are not eligible, nor are players ranked in the ATP or WTA Top 50 at the start of the Challenge. Should the player with the highest number of Challenge points earn direct entry into the Australian Open, the wild card will go to the next eligible American in the Challenge points standings. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or best WTA singles ranking on November 18 will earn the wild card.
All USTA Pro Circuit tournaments will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com. The Challengewill consist of the following events:
- Week of November 11: WTA $125,000 Series Events: Houston, Texas; Taipei; ITF World Tennis Tour W100: Tokyo.
- Week of November 11: ATP Challenger 125: Houston; USTA Pro Circuit / ATP Challenger 80s: Champaign, Ill.; Helsinki, Finland; Ortisei, Italy; Pune, India.
The 2020 Australian Open will be held January 20-February 2.