Thursday, August 6, 2020

Montgomery, Nakashima Among US Open Wild Cards; Habib and Krajicek, Failla and Reami Top Seeds at ITA National Summer Championships

The USTA announced the 2020 US Open wild cards today, with 15-year-old Robin Montgomery and 19-year-old Brandon Nakashima the youngest players to receive them in their respective draws. 

Former champions Kim Clijsters and Andy Murray are the only non-Americans to be given wild cards. Clijsters, without a WTA ranking, will certainly need hers, but Murray is the next player in with his ATP ranking of 129, so his wild card will certainly be available for redistribution. That also goes for Francesca Di Lorenzo, who received a wild card, but needs just four withdrawals to get in on her ranking. Without any qualifying this year, a main draw wild card is even more precious than usual, with the $61,000 first round prize money critical funding for those outside the Top 100. 

 The women's wild cards, with current WTA ranking 

  1. Francesca Di Lorenzo, 128
  2. Ann Li, 131
  3. Caroline Dolehide, 134
  4. Usue Arconada, 138
  5. Whitney Osuigwe, 143
  6. Cici Bellis, 304
  7. Robin Montgomery, 600
  8. Kim Clijsters, unranked
The first five are the highest ranked Americans who did not receive direct entry. Bellis and Montgomery were awarded wild cards over veterans Nicole Gibbs (148), Sachia Vickery(158) and Allie Kiick(160), among others. 

Montgomery would have been one of the favorites for the USTA Girls 18s Nationals had it been held, but she played her way into US Open wild card consideration by winning the $25,000 Pro Circuit event in Las Vegas right before the Covid-19 shutdown. I spoke with her about that back in March for this Tennis Recruiting Network article

The men's wild cards, with current ATP ranking

  1. Andy Murray, 129
  2. JJ Wolf, 144
  3. Maxime Cressy, 164
  4. Michael Mmoh, 182
  5. Thai Kwiatkowski, 183
  6. Brandon Nakashima, 220
  7. Sebastian Korda, 224
  8. Ulises Blanch, 242
Several Americans with better rankings than Blanch did not receive a wild card including Ernesto Escobedo(181), Mitchell Krueger(195), Noah Rubin(225) and Christopher Eubanks(238). Which one would be next in line for Murray's wild card is hard to say.

Nakashima, who had an impressive run with World Team Tennis the past three weeks, was among those expected to receive a wild card. He told me back in January of his goal to make the qualifying of the slams; shortly after that he reached the quarterfinals of the ATP event in Delray Beach.

Interesting that the reciprocal wild cards with the Australian Open and French Open were not included this year, possibly because of the uncertainty around whether Americans will compete in those events, and the value of the US Open wild card this year for one more American.

The US Open release with bios of all the wild card recipients is here.

The ITA National Summer Championships begin with qualifying Friday morning at Texas A&M. The seeds are below. Draws can be found at the UTR website.

Women’s Seeds:

1. Jessica Failla

2. Adriana Reami

3. Rhiann Newborn

4. Anna Rogers

5. Ashlyn Krueger

6. Solymar Colling

7. Tatiana Makarova

8. Emma Staker

9. Mary Stoiana

10. Jeanette Mireles

11. Jayci Goldsmith

12. Marlee Zein

13. Sofia Rojas

14. Lucia Quiterio

15. Janice Shin

16. Riley McQuaid

Men’s Seeds

1. Hady Habib

2. Austin Krajicek

3. Alexander Brown

4. Vazha Shubladze

5. Zeke Clark

6. Noah Schachter

7. Jonathan Sheehy

8. Ilgiz Valiev

9. Welsh Hotard

10. Stefan Storch

11. Guido Marson

12. JC Roddick

13. Andrew Rogers

14. Franco Ribero

15. Fletcher Scott

16. Pierce Rollins


Shocked said...

I was expecting to see Ryan Harrison's name on the Wild Card List for this years US OPEN?