Elizabeth Mandlik, J.J. Wolf clinch US Open Wild Card Challenge
Welcome to New York, Elizabeth Mandlik and J.J. Wolf. The American pair accumulated the most points in applicable tournaments during the summer hard-court season to secure US Open main draw wild cards as champions of the US Open Wild Card Challenge.
Wolf will be appearing in the US Open main draw for a second time, while Mandlik will be making her main-draw debut. In 2020, Wolf also received a wild card and reached the third round. Last year, she received a qualifying wild card and was beaten there in Round 1.
The 23-year-old Wolf is currently ranked No. 83, and finished atop the men's standings with 106 points thanks in large part to reaching the quarterfinals at the Citi Open, an ATP 500 event.
Ranked No. 104 as of the entry cut-off for the US Open, Wolf is also currently five spots out from direct acceptance into the US Open main draw, per the latest entry list. Should he gain direct entry, the Challenge wild card would go to the second-place finisher Aleks Kovacevic. Kovacevic, a former college tennis player at the University of Illinois, counted a runner-up at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Indianapolis and a semifinal in Lexington, Ky. among his standout Challenge results. He scored 96 points while Evan Zhu (40 points) finished in third place.
Mandlik, 21 and currently ranked No. 143, scored 194 points across three tournaments during the Challenge, enough to hold off CoCo Vandeweghe and clinch the wild card. Vandeweghe captured her biggest career title in six years last week at the WTA 125 Series event in Concord, Mass., and earned 160 points, while 18-year-old Katrina Scott finished in third place with 114 points.
Mandlik, the daughter of former US Open champion Hana Mandlikova, is 35-16 in singles this year, and notably qualified for the US Open Series event in San Jose. She beat compatriot Alison Riske-Amritraj for her first WTA main-draw win, and then nearly upset No. 2 seed and world No. 4 Paula Badosa.