The USTA has announced the launch of the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge. The Wild Card Challenge, in its second year, will utilize the USTA Pro Circuit to award wild cards into the 2016 Australian Open.
In this Wild Card Challenge, the American man and American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA ranking points at two of the three select USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events this fall will earn main draw wild cards into the 2016 Australian Open. Only Americans who did not earn direct entry into the Australian Open are eligible. The USTA and Tennis Australia have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2015 US Open and 2016 Australian Open are exchanged.
All participating tournaments will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com and can also be followed on the USTA Pro Circuit app by searching “procircuit” in the app store. Two new $50,000 women’s events will be joining the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge: in Waco, Texas, and Scottsdale, Ariz.
The Australian Open Wild Card Challenge will consist of the following events:
$50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Women’s Events
Tennis Classic of Macon, Macon, Ga. (week of Oct. 26)
Bush’s $50,000 Waco Showdown, Waco, Texas (week of Nov. 2)
Copperwynd Pro Women’s Challenge, Scottsdale, Ariz. (week of Nov. 9)
$50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Men’s Events
Charlottesville Men’s Pro Challenger, Charlottesville, Va. (week of Nov. 2)
Knoxville 2015 Challenger, Knoxville, Tenn. (week of Nov. 9)
JSM Challenger of Champaign-Urbana, Champaign, Ill. (week of Nov. 16)
The USTA first used this wild card format in 2012 to award wild cards into the French Open and US Open and has been doing so ever since. Last year, Irina Falconi and Denis Kudla earned wild cards into the Australian Open by winning this wild card challenge. This year, teenagers Frances Tiafoe and Louisa Chirico each won the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge for wild cards into the French Open, and Samantha Crawford and Bjorn Fratangelo earned US Open wild cards by winning the US Open Wild Card Challenge this summer.
The 2016 Australian Open main draw will be held Monday, Jan. 18, to Sunday, Jan. 31.
Information on the USTA Pro Circuit’s Australian Open Wild Card Challenge will be available at www.procircuit.usta.com and on Twitter through @USTAProCircuit.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 715,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline US Open Series, linking seven summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships and helps under-resourced youth and individuals with disabilities, and supports wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com, “like” the official Facebook page, facebook.com/usta, or follow @usta on Twitter.