Can youth repeat this November when the USTA’s Australian Open Wild Card Challenge determines which rising American stars will earn main draw wild cards for the 2018 Australian Open?
Last year Bradenton’s 18-year-old Michael Mmoh was the top point-earner in selected tournaments to win the wild card for the first time. On the women’s side 17-year-old Californian Kayla Day earned her first appearance in Melbourne. Both players had previously earned wild cards into the main draw at the US Open after winning the USTA National 18s Hard Court Championships.
Day and Mmoh will be in the mix again this year as the wild cards will be awarded to the American player with the highest total of cumulative ATP or WTA singles ranking points from their best two out of three results during the following weeks:
Week of Oct. 30 — Paris ATP Masters 1000/ $75K Canberra 2, Australia/ $75K Charlottesville, NC/ $75K+H Shenzhen 2
Week of Nov. 6 — €106K+H Bratislava, Slovakia/ €85K+H Mouilleron Le Captif/ $50K+H Kobe, Japan/ $75K Knoxville, TN
Week of Nov. 13 — $75K Champaign, IL/ $50K+H Pune, India
Week of Oct. 23 — $80K Macon, GA (main-draw points only)
Week of Oct. 30 — $80K Tyler, TX (main-draw points only)
Week of Nov. 6 — $80K Waco, TX (main-draw points only)
The USTA and Tennis Australia have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2017 US Open and 2018 Australian Open are exchanged. Only Americans who did not earn direct entry into the 2018 Australian Open are eligible. Players must be age 14 and older and eligible to represent the U.S. in Davis Cup or Fed Cup play.
Past Australian Open Wild Card Challenge Winners:
2016 — Michael Mmoh, Kayla Day
2015 — Noah Rubin, Samantha Crawford
2014 — Denis Kudla, Irina Falconi
For additional info go to www.usta.com/en/home/pro/pro-tennis-events/2018-australian-open-wild-card-challenge.html.