USTA Press Release, November 9, 2021
Former UCLA star Robin Anderson clinched a wild card into the 2022 Australian Open over the weekend by finishing first among competing players in the women’s Australian Open Wild Card Challenge.
Anderson’s run to the final of the Dow Tennis Classic WTA 125 in Midland, Mich., sealed her place ahead of Caty McNally and Elvina Kalieva, who would be next in line to receive the wild card should Anderson be unable to compete in Australia. Ann Li and Madison Brengle finished ahead of Anderson in the Challenge but are ranked high enough to receive direct entry into Melbourne. The final top three on the women’s side:
1. Robin Anderson — 1242. Caty McNally — 79 3. Elvina Kalieva — 78
Anderson, 28, was born in Long Branch, N.J., and was a singles and doubles All-American all four years she played at UCLA, from 2011-15. She’s currently ranked No. 172 and reached a career-high No. 159 in August 2019. She’ll be making her Grand Slam main draw debut in Melbourne.
Stefan Kozlov leads the men’s side of the Challenge at the halfway mark. Kozlov, 23, won his second ATP Challenger title of 2021 last week in Charlottesville, Va., and leads former Ohio State star JJ Wolf:
1. Stefan Kozlov — 1282. JJ Wolf — 109 3. Michael Mmoh — 29 4. Aleks Kovacevic — 29 5. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski — 22
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 singles ranking on 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.