Bellis, Collins, Townsend and Gibbs Receive US Open Main Draw Wild Cards; USTA National Collegiate Team Named; USO Junior Finals on Court 17
The USTA announced the wild cards for the US Open main draw and qualifying draw today.
National 18s champion CiCi Bellis and Nicole Gibbs, who won the USTA's Wild Card Challenge this summer, were already guaranteed to be among the six wild cards. As an American NCAA champion, Danielle Collins of the University of Virginia was expected to receive one, and she did, although she has yet to play competitively since undergoing wrist surgery after the NCAAs.
Taylor Townsend, who reached the third round at the French Open this year and has qualified and won a round at both the Citi Open in Washington DC and at this week's Cincinnati Masters, where she will play No. 13 seed Flavia Penetta in the second round, has received one, as have Madison Brengle, currently ranked 113 and Grace Min, now ranked 106.
The reciprocal wild cards with the French and Australian tennis federations went to Amandine Hess and Jarmila Gajdosova.
Qualifying wild cards went to Tornado Alicia Black (as National 18s finalist), Jennifer Brady, Samantha Crawford, Asia Muhammad, Maria Sanchez, Bernarda Pera, Katerina Stewart and, in a reciprocal agreement with France that I didn't know existed, Fiona Ferro.
Brady, ranked in the WTA 900s after her freshman season at UCLA, has had an outstanding summer and now is ranked 540. Stewart has won three $10,000 Pro Circuit events this year and the 18s Clay Courts, while Pera, who played under the Croatian flag in the US Open Juniors two years ago, but has switched to USA, has won two ITF Women's Circuit events this year.
Crawford, Sanchez and Muhammad have not won any singles titles in 2014. Notably absent from the qualifying draw is New Yorker Jamie Loeb, who has not had the best summer, but did win both of the ITA's fall majors last year as a freshman at North Carolina and was named ITA Player of the Year.
I believe Croatia's Ana Konjuh, the US Open girls champion, would have been given a qualifying wild card had she needed it, and I'm sure the same goes for Louisa Chirico, who is also already in qualifying on her WTA ranking.
The complete release can be found at usopen.org.
The 2014 USTA National Collegiate Team was named yesterday. The women are: Loeb, Brady, Robin Anderson(UCLA), Kristie Ahn(Stanford), Danielle Collins and Julia Elbaba(Virginia). The men's team consists of UCLA's Clay Thompson, Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald, Ohio State's Peter Kobelt, Virginia's Mitchell Frank and Pepperdine's Alex Sarkissian. These 12 players, plus four others not yet announced, are expected to play in the American Collegiate Invitational next month at the US Open.
The USTA also announced yesterday that the boys and girls finals at the US Open would no longer be held simultaneously, news I have been waiting ten years to hear. From the release:
...the USTA will schedule the Boy’s and Girl’s Juniors Singles Finals on Court 17 in order to increase the visibility and fan accessibility to these events. Both finals will take place on Sunday, September 7. The Finals will include a stadium announcer and other production elements for the first time. Also, the USTA will make additional grounds passes available for that Sunday, and all those attending the Junior Singles Finals will be invited to stay and watch the Women’s Singles Final on the video boards in Court 17.