USTA Press Release, October 19, 2021
Eighteen-year-old Elvina Kalieva leads the USTA’s Australian Open Wild Card Challenge after Week 1, after qualifying and reaching the singles final of the USTA Pro Circuit ITF World Tennis Tour W60 in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
The Florida-based teenager ranked No. 11 in the world among juniors earned 63 points with her final apperance last week. She leads 31-year old Madison Brengle (35 points) and 22-year old Maria Mateas (25 points) after Week 1 of 4 in the Challenge.
The Women’s Challenge runs through the week of November 1. The Men’s Challenge begins next week and runs through the week of November 15.
Both the men’s and women’s wild cards will be awarded to the Americans with the most ranking points earned at a maximum of three indoor and outdoor hard court tournaments during a four-week window. All indoor and outdoor hard-court events at the 25 level and above, including WTA and ATP Tour events, will be included in the Challenge.
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 8 for the women and November 22 for the men will earn the wild card.
Both wild card recipients will have to follow all Australian Open protocols as it relates to quarantine or vaccination.