Taylor Townsend won four matches in one day to win the singles and doubles titles at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.
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By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com
Taylor Townsend had the greatest – and longest – day of her professional tennis career on Sunday, winning four matches to sweep the singles and doubles titles at the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.
The marathon day also enabled her to clinch the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge and earn a wild card into the French Open. It will be the first main draw appearance in a Grand Slam singles event for the 18-year-old.
“I am so excited. You just don’t understand. To go to the French Open and play in the main draw and knowing that I earned it just feels so good,” she said to Florida Today. “This is what I have been training for. I am so happy.”
Rain delays throughout the week meant that the former world No. 1 junior and four-time junior Grand Slam champion would have to play her singles and doubles semifinals and finals in one day. She started off the day by saving two match points in her singles semifinal to defeat Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.
The victory ensured that Townsend won the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge by collecting more WTA ranking points than any American woman at two of three USTA Pro Circuit $50,000 clay-court events – the Dothan Pro Classic in Dothan, Ala., the Boyd Tinsley Clay Court Classic in Charlottesville, Va., and the Audi Melbourne Pro Tennis Classic in Indian Harbour Beach. She swept the singles and doubles titles the previous week in Charlottesville.
But Townsend wasn’t finished just yet. She took to the court again after a brief break and played her best match of the tournament in the final, wiping out Yulia Putintseva of Russia, 6-1, 6-1. She then won two more doubles matches with fellow American Asia Muhammad to cap off the memorable day.
Having started the year ranked No. 357, Townsend is expected to land just outside the Top 200 in next week’s rankings. The huge boost also ensures that she will be able to compete in the qualifying draw at Wimbledon. And with minimal points to defend for the rest of the year, Townsend is putting the pieces in place to make 2014 her breakout season.