As previously announced, the US Open organizers went against the WTA age-eligibility rules and decided to hand 15-year-old American Coco Gauff a wild card into the US Open women’s singles.
On the men’s side, former top-10 singles player and former US Open mixed doubles champion Jack Sock heads the list.
Three other young female Americans also were named Tuesday.
Caty McNally, the 17-year-old who won the Citi Open doubles with Gauff and had a wild card into the Cincinnati tournament this week, will join Gauff.
(You’d suspect they’ll get a wild card into the women’s doubles together as well).
Former junior No. 1 Whitney Osuigwe, who is still 17 herself and currently ranked a career-best No. 105, gets one. Of course,
Oswuigwe is only a few withdrawals away from earning the spot on her own merit, with No. 102 Svetlana Kuznetsova having just entered the main draw with the withdrawal of Dominika Cibulkova.
Francesco Di Lorenzo, a 22-year-old lefty who attended Ohio State and qualified at the Rogers Cup last week, also earned a wild-card invitation. She stands at a career-high No. 128 this week.
26 is the new 18
The group on the men’s side is a fair bit older – and definitely has a theme. Bjorn Fratangelo (26), Marcos Giron (26), Denis Kudla (26) join Sock who is – you guessed it – 26.
Kudla is currently ranked No. 111. But he was right at No. 100 at the entry deadline for the final major of the year. And thus will be next in when someone withdraws.
With players like Juan Martin del Potro and Tomas Berdych on that list, that’s a near-certainty.
(UPDATE: Shortly after this announcement, del Potro did in fact pull out, leaving the main-draw spot for Kudla. Chris Eubanks received the wild-card instead, and we would expect that, like last year, he might also team up in the mixed with Coco Gauff).
The announcement today explains why Andy Murray had to make a call Monday about whether or not to take a US Open wild card. He decided not to, as he wasn’t prepared for the grind of best-of-five sets.
That was in line with that he said in Washington, D.C. two weeks ago.
However, there may still be one dangling up there in the case of a sudden change of heart for Murray, because of Kudla’s situation.
Reciprocal wild cards and challenge winner
Australia’s reciprocal wild card has been given to 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur, while Diane Parry gets the French federation reciprocal.
The French reciprocal has been awarded to Antoine Hoang, currently ranked No. 101. Hoang, 23, would be close to getting in on his own if this week’s ranking counted.
As it is, he’s fifth in line to get in, on the entry list.
Katie Volynets, who won the girls 18s national event last week also gets one as does Zachary Svajda, who won the boys’ 18s.
Kristie Ahn won the US Open Wild Card Challenge that tabulated results earlier in the hard-court season and earned the final wild card spot. Ernesto Escobedo won the equivalent wild card on the men’s side.
Typically, the Aussies had held a “US Open wild card playoff” in the U.S. to determine that wild card, held at the venue in New Haven. They certainly have a large group of female players competing at the various WTA and ITF tournaments in North America this summer.
But it appears they have just unilaterally handed it to Stosur this year, on the basis of her being a former champion. But their men’s reciprocal remains to be determined.