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Thursday, April 6, 2017

USTA Announces ATP Tournaments Included in Upcoming French Open Wild Card Challenge; Flores and Arconada Advance to Jackson $25K Quarterfinals


The annual USTA Wild Card Challenge, in its sixth year, begins next week and there's a twist this year, with both ATP Tour and Challenger tournaments counting for the men.  The best two results from the following ATP Tour and Challenger tournaments will decide who is awarded the main draw wild card into the men's field at Roland Garros. Although the release says the results are to be from red or green clay, the two tournaments in Taipei and Gimcheon are on indoor carpet and outdoor hard courts.

Week of April 10: Houston ATP 250, Marrakech ATP 250, San Luis Potosi $50,000, Barletta €43,000
Week of April 17: Monte Carlo Masters ATP 1000, Taipei $125,000, Qingdao $125,000, Sarasota, Fla. $100,000
Week of April 24: Barcelona ATP 500, Budapest ATP 250, Anning $150,000, Tallahassee $75,000, Francavilla €43,000
Week of May 1: Munich ATP 250, Estoril ATP 250, Istanbul ATP 250, Savannah, Ga. $75,000, Ostrava €64,000, Gimcheon $50,000

The women's Wild Card Challenge does not include any WTA events. The best two results from the following tournaments will decide the main draw wild card into the men's field at Roland Garros.

Week of April 10: Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. $80,000
Week of April 17: Dothan, Ala. $60,000
Week of April 24: Charlottesville, Va. $60,000
Week of May 1: Charleston, S.C. $60,000

Last year Taylor Townsend and Bjorn Fratangelo won their respective Wild Card Challenges and reached the second round at Roland Garros.

The quarterfinals are set at the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Jackson Mississippi, with 18-year-olds Usue Arconada and Victoria Flores advancing to the final eight.  Arconada, the No. 8 seed, beat former Florida star Lauren Embree, a qualifier, 6-3, 6-2 and will face former Penn star Connie Hsu of Taiwan in the quarterfinals.

Qualifier Flores, who has committed to Georgia Tech, had never won a Pro Circuit match above the $10,000 level prior to this week, but she now has two victories, although both were the result of retirements. Nicole Frenkel retired down 3-2 in the first set on Wednesday, but Flores probably earned her win 6-4, 4-4 win today against No. 6 seed Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine. Flores and Kalinina had played an hour and 51 minutes when Kalinina retired. 

Also into the quarterfinals are 18-year-old Katherine Sebov of Canada, the No. 5 seed, who defeated wild card Maria Mateas 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-1 in three hours and 27 minutes; qualifier Alexa Guarachi Mathison of Chile, the former Alabama star, 19-year-old wild card Sophie Chang and No. 2 seed Barbara Haas of Austria.  Flores' opponent is top seed Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia, who beat 14-year-old Canadian qualifier Leylah Fernandez 6-3, 6-3.

Four Americans have reached the last eight at the $25,000 Men's Futures in Memphis: qualifier Ryan Haviland, Christian Harrison, Jared Hiltzik and top seed Mackenzie McDonald. The finals in doubles are set for Friday, with McDonald and Great Britain's Lloyd Glasspool, the No. 4 seeds, facing top seeds Philip Bester of Canada and Alex Lawson.

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