Fratangelo Leads USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge

Road to Roland Garros

SAVANNAH, April 26, 2016

Bjorn Fratangelo took a commanding lead in the USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge Standings at the end of Week 2 by winning the $50,000 St. Joseph’s/Candler Savannah Challenger in Savannah, putting him in a strong position to earn a main-draw wild card into the 2016 French Open. Fratangelo claimed 80 points from Savannah and 35 points by reaching the semifinals of the $100,000 Joey Gratton Sarasota Open in Sarasota, Fla., two weeks ago, totaling 115 points.

Bjorn Fratangelo and Jared Donaldson (photo: Jacob Stuckey)

Bjorn Fratangelo and Jared Donaldson (photo: Jacob Stuckey)

The men’s Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge concludes this week with the $50,000 USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger in Tallahassee, Fla. Jared Donaldson, who is in second place after reaching the final in Savannah, is the only player who can overtake Fratangelo and must win the title in Tallahassee to earn the wild card (a title in Tallahassee is worth 80 points).

The women’s wild card challenge kicked off last week with the $50,000 Hardee’s Pro Classic in Dothan, Ala. Taylor Townsend reached the final in Dothan, earning 48 points and taking the early lead. Jessica Pegula, who reached the quarterfinals, is in second place. The second week of the women’s wild card challenge will take place at the $50,000 Boyd Tinsley Clay Court Classic in Charlottesville, Va., this week.

USTA Player Development will award a French Open main-draw wild card to one US-American man and one US-American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA Tour ranking points in a series of USTA Pro Circuit clay-court events this spring.

Ranking points from two out of the three men’s and women’s events will be used and combined to calculate the point total and determine the French Open wild card recipient. If a player competes in more than two events, only his or her two best tournaments will be counted in calculating the point total. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or WTA singles ranking in the published rankings of Monday, May 2 (men), and Monday, May 9 (women), will be awarded the wild card. Only players who have not earned direct acceptance into Roland Garros are eligible for the wild card.

The standings, as of April 25, are as follows:
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 veteran Robby Ginepri received the wild cards, with Townsend becoming a top storyline by reaching the Roland Garros third round. Last year, young Americans Frances Tiafoe and Louisa Chirico secured the wild cards.