May 9th, 2017

Tennis Briefs: USTA Roland Garros WC Winners; Mena Wins Tampa Pro Circuit Title

General News Pro Tennis

Americans Anisimova, Sandgren Win 2017 USTA Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge

Amanda Anisimova, photo: Ashley Marshall

Florida 15-year-old Amanda Anisimova and 25-year-old Tennys Sandgren will make their first appearances in the main draw at Roland Garros after clinching wild cards at the USTA Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge last weekend.

The wild card challenge was comprised of the two best results at four USTA Pro Circuit event for the women, and for the men the two best results at any pro- or challenger-level events from April 10-May 8.

Sandgren, of Gallatin, Tenn., clinched his wild card over the weekend en route to winning the USTA Pro Circuit Challenger in Savannah, Ga. He is 0-12 in Grand Slam qualifying attempts over his career, but over the last few days in May will make his French Open debut in Paris. Also a finalist at the recent Tallahassee Challenger, he moved this week to a career-high ATP rank of No. 114.

Anisimova, of Hallandale Beach, Fla., clinched her wildcard on Thursday when no other player could catch her at the final USTA Pro Circuit event of the series in Charleston, S.C. She garnered her wild-card-winning point total by reaching the finals at the USTA Pro Circuit stops in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., and Dothan, Ala., in only her second and third career appearances on the pro circuit.

Anisimova made her lone Grand Slam appearance last year at the US Open, winning her opening round before losing to Eri Hozumi of Japan, and she will be the youngest woman in this year’s French Open singles draw.

USTA Player Development awards a French Open main draw wild card to one American man and one American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA tour ranking points in a series of USTA Pro Circuit and tour clay court events. The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2017 French Open and US Open are exchanged.

Past USTA Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge winners:

2017 — Tennys Sandgren, Amanda Anisimova
2016 — Bjorn Fratangelo, Taylor Townsend
2015 — Frances Tiafoe, Louisa Chirico
2014 — Robby Ginepri, Taylor Townsend
2013 — Alex Kuznetsov, Shelby Rogers
2012 — Brian Baker, Melanie Oudin

For more USTA Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge info go to


Mena, USF Players Take Titles at $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit Tampa Futures

Facundo Mena (left) after winning the One-on-One Doubles tournament earlier this year at the FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club

No. 2-seeded Facundo Mena of Argentina defeated No. 3 seed Kaichi Uchida of Japan 6-4, 7-6(4,) 6-0 on Sunday for the USTA Pro Circuit title at the Tampa USTA Men’s Pro Circuit Futures tournament, held on the clay courts of the Harbour Island Athletic Club in Tampa, Fla.

The 24-year-old Mena did not drop a set until the final, and won his fourth career ITF/USTA Pro Circuit title, all on clay. It was his first trophy-raising effort since 2015   Colombia.

Uchida was seeking his first USTA Pro Circuit title of 2017 after winning over the last three years in the U.S. (2016-15) and Korea (2014), all on clay.

The last Americans in the field exited in the quarterfinals when lucky loser Isaiah Strode, No. 6 seed Dennis Nevolo, and No. 7 seed Connor Smith all lost matches lasting more than two hours.

In the doubles final the unseeded team of University of South Florida senior Alexandru Gozun and freshman Alberto Barroso Campos defeated the top-seeded team of Americans Connor Smith and Rhyne Williams 6-2, 6-4.

For more info go to