JMTA Juniors hope for US Open Wild Card

JMTA Player Jamie Loeb

JMTA Player Jamie Loeb

“The USTA has announced another series of Pro Circuit events to decide a men’s and a women’s wild card to this year’s US Open. As they did last year and this year for the reciprocal French Open wild card, and last year for a US Open wild card, the USTA will award a wild card to one American man and one American women who has the highest total of ATP/WTA points in several designated tournaments.

This year a men’s wild card will be given to the player with the best two results in four tournaments–the $50,000 Binghamton Challenger, the $50,000 Lexington Challenger, the $100,000 Vancouver Challenger and the $100,000 Aptos Challenger. Last year Steve Johnson won the wild card by winning Aptos, the only one of the four tournaments he played, while Mallory Burdette made the quarterfinals of Lexington and won Vancouver, which is not one of the three women’s events this year. The women’s wild card this year will be decided based on points won in two of these three tournaments: the $50,000 Yakima Challenger, the $50,000 Portland Challenger and the $50,000 Lexington Challenger.

The article, which mentions that all these tournaments will have live streams, is here. The fact sheets are on the Pro Circuit home page. Holding US passports and being eligible for US Davis Cup or US Fed Cup participation are requirements.

An official announcement is expected next week, but Jamea Jackson is leaving her position as  Oklahoma State’s women’s assistant to join USTA Player Development as a National Coach. The 26-year-old Jackson, who spent four seasons with the Cowgirls, is a former WTA Top 50 player and US Fed Cup competitor. For more on what led to her early retirement from the WTA Tour, see this article.

The draws for the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton have been released, with the ITF Junior No. 1s the top seeds. French Open girls champion Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, who lost today in the semifinals of a $25,000 outdoor clay challenger in her home country, but won the doubles title, will play wild card Alannah Griffin in Sunday’s first round, while boys top seed Nick Kyrgios of Australia meets Stefan Kozlov of the US.

Kozlov is joined in the boys draw by Martin Redlicki, Noah Rubin, Luca Corinteli and Spencer Papa, none of whom are seeded.

The US girls in the draw are qualifiers Dasha Ivanova and Katrine Steffensen, as well as Johnnise Renaud, Tornado Alicia Black, Jamie Loeb, No. 3 seed Taylor Townsend and No. 9 seed Louisa Chirico.

Bencic is not entered in the Wimbledon juniors, but may be getting a wild card. Australian Open boys finalist Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia was given a wild card into Roehampton and may also be requesting one for Wimbledon. Kokkinakis would play No. 2 seed Nikola Milojevic of Serbia in the second round if they both win their opening matches.

German Antonia Lottner, who lost to Bencic in the French Open girls final, won a $10,000 tournament this weekend in Germany. She has recently withdrawn from the Wimbledon juniors.

The European grass season for juniors is very short, just three tournaments, with the first one, a Grade 2 in Germany, just finished. No. 4 seed Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine won the girls singles and doubles, while unseeded Lucas Gomez of Mexico took the boys singles title.

The Roehampton draws and order of play for Sunday is available on the LTA website.

Article written by Zoo tennis staff member Colette Lewis