Australian Open Wild Card Challenge to award two Americans AO berths
The new year will kick off on a high note for two USTA Pro Circuit players who'll earn wild cards to compete in the main draw of the 2023 Australian Open.
For the eighth year, American players competing on the USTA Pro Circuit this fall have the opportunity to earn a berth in the men's and women's singles draws of the year's first Grand Slam via the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge. The Challenge began in the lead-up to the 2015 Australian Open, and has been held in all but one year since; in 2021, the Challenge was not held as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Challenge, which utilizes indoor and outdoor hard-court pro tournaments, kicks off this week for the women and runs through the week of Oct. 24, while the corresponding men's Challenge begins the week of Oct. 24 and runs through the week of Nov. 14.
The USTA and Tennis Australia have a reciprocal agreement in which main-draw wild cards for the 2023 Australian Open and US Open will be exchanged.
The men's wild card will be awarded to the American with the most ranking points earned from a maximum of three events during the aforementioned four-week window, while the women's wild card will be awarded to the player who earns the same at three events in a five-week window.
All indoor and outdoor hard-court and carpet events at the M25 level and above, including ATP and Challenger events, will be included in the men's Challenge, and all indoor and outdoor hard-court events at the W25 level and above, including WTA Tour events, will be included in the women's Challenge.
Americans who otherwise earn direct entry into the Australian Open are not eligible, nor are players ranked in the Top 50 at the start of either Challenge. Should the player with the highest number of Challenge points earn direct entry into the Australian Open, the wild card will go to the next eligible American in the Challenge points standings. In the event of a tie for the men or the women, the player with the best singles ranking on the Monday immediately following the conclusion of the Challenge will earn the wild card.
Wild card recipients will have to follow all Australian Open protocols as it relates to quarantine or vaccination.