USTA announces wild cards for singles tourney
Aug 22, 2017 | 1633 views | 0 0 comments | 183 183 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The USTA announced that former US Open singles champion Maria Sharapova, young American Taylor Townsend, reigning US Open girls’ champion Kayla Day, 2017 US Open Wild Card Challenge winner Sofia Kenin, 2017 USTA Girls’ 18s national champion Ashley Kratzer and 2017 NCAA singles champion Brienne Minor have been awarded women’s singles main draw wild cards into the 2017 US Open.

Also, Frenchwoman Amandine Hesse has received a wild card as part of the USTA’s reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation. And as part of a reciprocal agreement with the USTA, Tennis Australia will award one additional main draw wild card to a player who will be announced at a later date.

The 2017 US Open will be played August 28 to September 10 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing. Both the men’s and women’s singles champions this year will earn $3.7 million.

Townsend, 21, of Atlanta, ranked No. 134, became the top-ranked junior girl in the world in 2012, after winning the Australian Open girls’ title. She was the first U.S. girl to hold the year-end number-one junior ranking since 1982.

Townsend competed in the US Open main draw in 2014 and 2016, qualifying for the main draw last year. She advanced to the third round of the French Open in 2014 for her career-best Grand Slam result.

Day, 17, of Santa Barbara, Calif., ranked No. 123, is the reigning US Open girls’ champion and former world junior No. 1. Last year, Day earned a US Open main draw wild card as the USTA Girls’ 18s national champion and won her first-round match. This year, Day competed in the Australian Open, after winning the USTA’s wild card challenge, and advanced to the third round in Indian Wells.

Kenin, 18, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., ranked a career-high No. 141, won the 2017 US Open Wild Card Challenge. Kenin will be making her third consecutive wild-card appearance at the US Open after winning the wild card challenge last year and the USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships in 2015. She also reached the singles final at the 2015 US Open Junior Championships.

Kratzer, 18, of Newport Beach, Calif., ranked No. 341, won the 2017 USTA Girls’ singles title in San Diego this past weekend. Kratzer will look to follow predecessors Day (2016), CiCi Bellis (2014) and Sachia Vickery (2013) as USTA Girls’ 18s national champions to win their first-round matches.

This summer, Kratzer reached back-to-back quarterfinals at $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit events and then reached the final at the $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Stockton, California.

Sharapova, 30, of Russia, ranked No. 148, won the 2006 US Open and reached the semifinals in 2005 and 2012. Sharapova also captured four additional Grand Slam titles in her career: Wimbledon in 2004, the Australian Open in 2008 and the French Open in 2012 and 2014. She holds 35 WTA singles titles and first became number one in the world in August 2005.

On the men's side, rising young Americans Taylor Fritz, Bjorn Fratangelo, Christopher Eubanks, 2017 NCAA singles champion Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, 2017 USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion Patrick Kypson and US Open Wild Card Challenge winner Tommy Paul have been awarded men’s singles main draw wild cards.

Nineteen-year old Frenchman Geoffrey Blancaneaux was awarded a main draw wild card by the French Tennis Federation as part of its reciprocal agreement with the USTA, and Tennis Australia awarded its reciprocal agreement main draw wild card to 18-year-old Alex de Minaur.

Fritz, 19, of Rancho Santa Fe, California, is a former world Number 53 who is currently ranked 120th. He took a three-month break from competition during the clay-court season to train. Since then, he has qualified for Wimbledon and reached the quarterfinals at the ATP 250 event in Mexico.

Fritz won the 2015 US Open junior title and reached the final in Memphis in 2016, becoming the youngest American to reach an ATP final since Michael Chang in 1989.

Fratangelo, 24, of Pittsburgh, is ranked 130th. He advanced to the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Open ATP 250 in Rhode Island, this summer. Fratangelo is a former French Open junior champion and will be competing in his third consecutive US Open main draw.

Eubanks, 21, of Atlanta, is a rising senior at Georgia Tech. He is having a breakout summer playing US Open Series events, having reached the quarterfinals of the BB&T Atlanta Open ATP 250 and qualified for the Western & Southern Open ATP Masters 1000 in Cincinnati.

The 6-foot-7 Eubanks grew up training with Top 100 American Donald Young and his family in Atlanta.

Kypson, 17, of Raleigh, N.C., earned the wild card allotted to the USTA Boys’ 18s national champion. Kypson, ranked No. 917, is a Top 20 world-ranked junior who reached the boys’ semifinals at Wimbledon this summer.

He’s part of a group of American juniors to have trained with Ivan Lendl over the last several years as part of a USTA Player Development initiative.

Blancaneaux, 19, of Paris, received his wild card as part of the USTA’s reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation that allowed Tennys Sandgren to make his Grand Slam main draw debut at Roland Garros this year. Blancaneaux is ranked number 328.
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