Katie Volynets wins U.S. women's Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge
Katie Volynets is poised to make her French Open debut later this month as a result of finishing first on the women's side of the USTA's Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge. The 20-year-old from Walnut Creek, Calif. passed Taylor Townsend on the back of reaching the semifinals at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Bonita Springs, Fla. last week, the final event that counted towards Challenge standings.
Volynets finished the Challenge with 215 points, thanks to results on the USTA Pro Circuit that included also a singles title at the W100 in Palm Harbor, Fla., and a quarterfinal appearance at the W100 in Charleston, S.C. Her win in Palm Harbor was her second career USTA Pro Circuit title, both of which have come at W100 level.
At 17, Volynets made her Grand Slam main-draw debut at the 2019 US Open, where she was awarded a wild card as the USTA Girls' 18s national champion; though she was beaten in the first round by eventual champion Bianca Andreescu, the Canadian star was one of the first on tour to note her talent. Also a wild card entry at the 2021 US Open, Volynets played her first Wimbledon last summer and Australian Open earlier this year after successfully qualifying for both.
On the strength of her current run of form, Volynets checks in at a career-high WTA ranking of world No. 112 this week, and will join Michael Mmoh, the men's winner, in Paris. Should either player be unable to compete at the event, Challenge runner-ups Townsend and Jack Sock are in line to be awarded the wild card.
Dating back to 2012, the Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge returned this spring for the first time since 2019, and the USTA and FFT have a reciprocal agreement in which main-draw wild cards for the 2022 French Open and US Open will be exchanged. The USTA has previously utilized this format to award wild cards into the Australian, French and US Opens, and this is the second such Challenge to be contested since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Previous Americans to earn wild cards into the French Open via the Challenge include:
2019: Tommy Paul (1R); Lauren Davis (2R)
2018: Noah Rubin (1R); Taylor Townsend (2R)
2017: Tennys Sandgren (1R); Amanda Anisimova (1R)
2016: Bjorn Fratangelo (2R); Taylor Townsend (2R)
2015: Frances Tiafoe (1R); Louisa Chirico (1R)
2014: Robby Ginepri (1R); Taylor Townsend (3R)
2013: Alex Kuznetsov (1R); Shelby Rogers (2R)
2012: Brian Baker (2R); Melanie Oudin (2R)
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