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Monday, March 19, 2018

USTA Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge Begins Next Month; Kypson Downs Smyczek in Miami Open Qualifying; Calabasas $25K Futures Qualifying Complete

The USTA has announced the dates of its seventh annual Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge, which it holds every year to determine the recipient of the USTA's reciprocal wild card. The American man and woman collecting the most ATP and WTA points during the Challenge, using the best two results, will receive entry into the main draw in Paris this spring.

As has been the case for the women since the Wild Card Challenge's inception, four upcoming tournaments on the USTA Pro Circuit will serve as designated events:

Week of April 9: $60,000 Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.
Week of April 16: $80,000 Dothan, Ala.
Week of April 23: $80,000 Charlottesville, Va.
Week of April 30: $80,000 Charleston, S.C.

The American player who earns the most WTA points in two of these events will be awarded the wild card, with the tiebreaker the player with the higher WTA ranking.  Last year Amanda Anisimova won the wild card.  The women's fact sheet is available here.

The men's Wild Card Challenge changed last year from designated USTA Pro Circuit events to any ATP event, Tour or Challenger level being held during the four-week period. This year those events must be on red or green clay.  The four weeks this year begin April 9th and end with tournaments starting on April 30th.  Tennys Sandgren won the wild card last year. The men's fact sheet is available here.

I mentioned in last night's post the beginning of the women's qualifying at the Miami Open, but because the men's qualifying draw had not yet been released, I wasn't aware that the men's qualifying was also beginning today. 

Mackenzie McDonald[24] had a tough first round, drawing 17-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, who qualified and won a round at the BNP Paribas Open earlier this month, but the 2016 NCAA champion managed to earn a 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(6) victory.

Patrick Kypson, the reigning Kalamazoo 18s champion and a freshman at Texas A&M, received a wild card into qualifying and made good use of it, defeating Tim Smyczek[18] 6-4, 6-3.  Kypson, currently ranked 729, has only played one ATP Top 100 player in his career, and while Smyczek was outside that at 117, it is Kypson's best win by ranking by more than 200 spots.  Kypson will play Great Britain's Cameron Norrie[10], the former TCU star for a place in the main draw.  Norrie advanced when Stefan Kozlov retired trailing 6-1, 2-0.  Michael Mmoh beat No. 22 seed Ramkumar Ramanathan of India 7-6(4), 6-4 and No. 13 seed Ernesto Escobedo defeated Gleb Sakharov of France 6-0, 6-3. Bjorn Fratangelo was supposed to play Tommy Paul in the opening round of qualifying, but Paul, who hasn't played since the Dallas Challenger at the end of January, was replaced by Pedja Krstin of Serbia. Fratangelo, the No. 11 seed, beat Krstin 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.  Denis Kudla, who won the Drummondville Challenger title yesterday, had a long trip south for his first round qualifying match, but it was worth it when he defeated No. 5 seed Gastao Elias of Portugal 7-5, 6-4 tonight.

Stanford freshman and 2017 ITF World Junior champion Axel Geller received a wild card into qualifying and drew Alex de Minaur of Australia.  In a rematch of the 2013 Junior Orange Bowl 14s final, de Minaur got his revenge today, beating the 18-year-old from Argentina 6-4, 6-0.

In women's qualifying, Danielle Collins[23], Nicole Gibbs[24], Alison Riske[14] and Sonya Kenin[12] advanced, with Kenin beating wild card Ann Li 6-2, 7-5. Sachia Vickery[10] is still on court.

The qualifying is complete at the $25,000 Calabasas California Futures, with six Americans advancing to the main draw.  Martin Redlicki[3], a senior at UCLA, defeated teammate Evan Zhu[10] 2-6, 7-6(7), 6-2 to reach the main draw, while brother Michael defeated Cornell freshman Alafia Ayeni 6-3, 6-2.  Georgia recruit Trent Bryde beat 17-year-old Govind Nanda 6-2, 1-6, 6-4, and Henry Craig[5] defeated 17-year-old Jenson Brooksby 6-3, 6-3. Harrison Adams[16] downed Or Ram-Harel[6] of Israel 6-4, 6-4 and Isaiah Strode beat Sem Verbeek[12] of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-1. Like all qualifiers except for Strode, the two non-Americans have college ties.  Former Cal star Andre Goransson of Sweden beat top seed Sebastian Fanselow of Germany 7-6(4), 7-6(6) and Ruan Roelofse[4] of South Africa defeated USC recruit Jake Sands 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The top seed in Calabasas is last week's champion in Bakersfield, Matias Bourgue of France, with Alex Sarkissian seeded No. 2.  Wild cards were given to Stanford senior Tom Fawcett; high school junior Jacob Bullard, a Texas recruit; Marcos Giron, who is the No. 4 seed; and Calabasas junior Bruno Krenn.


Kypson Takes 1 for the Team said...

Former TCU Frog... Cam Norrie .. defeats current Texas A&M Aggie, Patrick Kypson, 6(5), 3,1..in 2nd round of Quallies and advances to the Main Draw of the Miami Open. Spring Break is over for Aggie.. Time to get back to class... Term Paper due by 5 pm