WILD CARD SANDGREN
EARNS BERTH INTO 2017 FRENCH OPEN
E.J. Crawford | May 8, 2017
Three years after his career was derailed by hip surgery, the greatest name in the game has finally made it onto one of the sport’s biggest stages.
Tennys Sandgren wrapped up the 2017 Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge in dramatic fashion Sunday, winning the $75,000 St. Joseph's/Candler Savannah Challenger in Savannah, Ga., to clinch a wild card into the main draw of the 2017 French Open.
The French Open will mark the Grand Slam main draw debut for the 25-year-old from Gallatin, Tenn., who was named after his great-grandfather.
In addition to his title in Savannah, Sandgren’s Wild Card Challenge results included reaching the final of the $100,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger in Sarasota, Fla., and qualifying for the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston. With that, the 2011 NCAA semifinalist tallied 135 challenge points, easily outpacing runner-up and 2016 challenge winner Bjorn Fratangelo (64 points) and third-place finisher Mitchell Krueger (36 points).
USTA Player Development awards a French Open main draw wild card to one American man and one American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA ranking points in a series of spring clay-court events. ADVERTISEMENT The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which they exchange a men’s and women’s wild card to the 2017 French Open and 2017 US Open.
Amanda Anisimova, 15, sewed up the women’s wild card to Roland Garros last week, becoming the youngest player to gain entry into the French Open main draw since Alize Cornet in 2005.
Sandgren turned pro after his run in the NCAAs in 2011 and achieved some early success on the USTA Pro Circuit, winning five Futures and one Challenger title from 2011 to 2013. He also earned the nod as a practice partner for the U.S.’s Davis Cup tie against Serbia in 2013. But a lingering hip injury required surgery, knocking him out for most of 2014 and slowing his rise.
Sandgren climbed back into the Top 200 last year on the strength of three USTA Pro Circuit titles, and he continued to surge in 2017, winning the Tempe Challenger before his recent spring run on clay. The former University of Tennessee standout is up to a career-best No. 114 in the latest world rankings.
For his career, Sandgren holds 14 USTA Pro Circuit/ITF Pro Circuit singles titles and 16 doubles titles. He has attempted to qualify for a Grand Slam on 12 occasions in his career.
Click here to see the complete 2017 Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge standings.