The USTA today announced the women's wild cards for the U.S. Open and the only player on the list that received a wild card last year is Christina McHale, who received hers in 2009 because she won the 18s nationals.
The inclusion of NCAA champion Chelsey Gullickson is very encouraging, because she has not played much this summer. It demonstrates that the USTA is not just talking about college tennis as a development pathway, it is actually providing opportunties based on college results.
I sat in on an ESPN-sponsored conference call with John and Patrick McEnroe this afternoon, and they were directly asked about the place college tennis has in development. As I tweeted during the call, Patrick went so far as to say that the U.S. players most likely to close in on the Top 100 in the next few years are now in college, not teen-aged pros, although he did call Ryan Harrison "our best prospect." John mentioned his year at Stanford, and he said that entering college ranked 21st in the world created extra pressure, and that situation helped him learn how to cope with expectations.
Many people have expressed to me their doubts about the USTA's commitment to college tennis, but I think their message has been unequivocally in favor of it as a development path since McEnroe assumed the top spot.
Anyway, here are the seven main draw wild cards already decided:
Virginia Razzano (reciprocal with France)
Sophie Ferguson (reciprocal with Australia)
The eighth wild card will be decided in the playoff that got underway today in Boca Raton. See the results below.
Those receiving qualifying wild cards are:
*Participating in the main draw wild card tournament this week.
Stephens is perhaps the most surprising omission from the main draw list. She did well at both the junior slams this summer, winning girls doubles titles at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. She won a match in the WTA event in Bastad and played the Girls 18s nationals, while CoCo Vandeweghe, who was also age-eligible, did not. Vandeweghe had that big win over Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva early this month in San Diego, however, which may have sealed her wild card. Hampton has played very well all year, as has Christina McHale.
For the complete release, see usopen.org.
At the wild card tournament in Boca Raton today, the top two men's and women's seeds advanced in straight sets. Results are as follows:
Tim Smyczek(1) def. Chase Buchanan(8) 7-5, 6-1
Ryan Harrison(2) def. Steve Johnson(7) 6-4, 6-4
Greg Ouellette(3) def. Austin Krajicek(6) 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
Alex Domijan(5) def. Andrea Collarini(4) 7-5, 6-2
Madison Brengle(1) def. Jessica Pegula(8) 6-2, 6-2
Beatrice Capra(2) def. Lauren Davis(7) 6-1, 6-2
Krista Hardebeck(6) def. Julia Boserup(3) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
Nicole Gibbs(5) def. Irina Falconi(4) 7-6(2), 6-3
In Thursday's semifinals, Smyczek will play Domijan and Harrison will play Ouellette for the men. The women's semifinals will be Brengle against Gibbs and Capra against Hardebeck.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010