Lauren Davis seals
French Open wild card
Arthur Kapetanakis | May 13, 2019
One year after skipping the European clay-court season due to fatigue, former world No. 26 Lauren Davis will be back in the French Open main draw. The 25-year-old Ohio native earned a wild-card entry for the 2019 event by winning the women’s side of the USTA Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge.
Davis defeated 18-year old Pennsylvanian Ann Li, 7-5, 7-5, on Sunday to win the USTA Pro Circuit ITF World Tennis Tour W100 event in Bonita Springs, Fla., and claim first place in the four-week challenge. The No. 4-seeded champion's 140 WTA ranking points were enough to overtake second-place Whitney Osuigwe, 210-200, in the final standings. Entering Week 4, Davis needed to win the Florida event and to have Bernarda Pera fall short of the title at the W80 event in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, in order to move ahead of the 17-year-old.ADVERTISEMENT
When Pera lost in the opening round in France, to compatriot and eventual champion Christina McHale, the pressure picked up in Florida. The No. 6-seeded Osuigwe was one win short of setting up a defacto wild-card playoff match; had she defeated Li in their semifinal, the winner of a potential Davis-Osuigwe final would have ended the challenge in first place. Instead, Davis was required to top Li to overtake Osuigwe, the 2017 French Open girls' singles champion seeking her senior French Open debut.
The women's side of the challenge counts each player's points from their best two results over the last four weeks. Davis’ total of 210 also included 70 points from a final appearance at the W80 event in Dothan, Ala., in Week 1.
Davis played in every French Open main draw from 2012-17, reaching the second round in 2012. She has 23 career major main-draw appearances, notching a total of 13 wins and at least one victory at each Slam. Her ranking, which peaked at No. 26 in May 2017, fell to No. 264 last fall. Her best Grand Slam results have come at the Australian Open and Wimbledon; she reached the third round at Wimbledon once (2015) and in Melbourne three times, most recently in 2018, resulting in an epic 6-4, 4-6, 13-15 loss to Simona Halep.
Tommy Paul, 21, won the men's side of the challenge.
For more information on the USTA French Open Wild Card Challenge, visit the Challenge homepage.