2020 Australian Open
Wild Card Challenge
November 11, 2019
The USTA will award a singles main-draw wild card into the 2020 Australian Open to the American man and woman who win the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge.
The challenge, which utilizes indoor and outdoor hard-court pro tournaments, will kick off the week of Oct. 21 for the women and Oct. 28 for the men, and conclude the week of Nov. 11 for both. The USTA and Tennis Australia have a reciprocal agreement in which main-draw wild cards for the 2020 Australian Open and US Open are exchanged.
Americans who earn direct entry into the Australian Open are not eligible, nor are players ranked in the ATP or WTA Top 50 at the start of the 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. ADVERTISEMENT In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or best WTA singles ranking on Nov. 18 will earn the wild card.
The men’s wild card will go to the American with the highest cumulative total of ATP singles ranking points earned from their best two results during the three-week men’s window, including results from any professional hard-court event at the ATP Challenger level and above around the world. The tournaments in play include:
- Week of Oct. 28: ATP Masters 1000 Paris; ATP Challenger 110: Shenzhen, China; USTA Pro Circuit/ATP Challenger 80s: Charlottesville, Va.; Playford, Australia.
- Week of Nov. 4: ATP Challenger 110: Bratislava, Slovakia; USTA Pro Circuit/ATP Challenger 80s: Knoxville, Tenn.; Kobe, Japan.
- Week of Nov. 11: ATP Challenger 125: Houston; USTA Pro Circuit/ATP Challenger 80s: Champaign, Ill.; Helsinki, Finland; Ortisei, Italy; Pune, India.
The women’s wild card will be awarded to the American with the highest cumulative total of WTA singles ranking points earned from their best three results during the four weeks of the Challenge, at the following events:
- Week of Oct. 21: USTA Pro Circuit/ITF World Tennis Tour W80s: Macon, Ga.; Poitiers, France; ITF World Tennis Tour W60s: Saguenay, Canada.
- Week of Oct. 28: USTA Pro Circuit W80: Tyler, Texas; ITF World Tennis Tour W60s: Toronto, Canada; Liuzhou, China; Nantes, France.
- Week of Nov. 4: USTA Pro Circuit W60 Event: Las Vegas; ITF World Tennis Tour W100: Shenzhen, China.
- Week of Nov. 11: WTA $125,000 Series Events: Houston; Taipei; ITF World Tennis Tour W100: Tokyo.
Nov. 11 update:
Michael Mmoh earned a commanding lead in the men's challenge with his USTA Pro Circuit and ATP Challenger 80 title in Knoxville, Tenn. Mmoh, with 83 Challenge points, has a substantial lead over second-place Brandon Nakashima (36) and the three players tied for third place, who all have 15. Nine players still have a chance to overtake Mmoh this week with their performances in either Houston or Champaign, though all but Marcos Giron (in Houston) would have to win the title and have Mmoh lose relatively early in Houston. Mmoh could clinch the Challenge by reaching the final.
Katerina Stewart maintained her lead in the women's challenge despite a first-round retirement in Las Vegas, but is not competing in Week 4. Francesca Di Lorenzo, Danielle Lao and Shelby Rogers all have 80-plus points in the standings and can add on to those totals, given that the women's Challenge counts a player's best three results from a four-week window. Di Lorenzo could overtake Stewart by reaching the Houston quarterfinals, while Rogers and Lao would need to reach the semis.
Nov. 4 update:
Brandon Nakashima, a University of Virginia sophomore, took advantage of familiar surroundings to put himself atop the table with a run to the semifinals at the Challenger 80 tournament in Charlottesville, Va., in Week 1 of the men's challenge. The idle Katerina Stewart remains in the lead at the halfway mark of the women's challenge, though Francesca Di Lorenzo, Danielle Lao and Shelby Rogers all moved to within 35 points of the top spot.
Oct. 28 update:
Katerina Stewart earned the Week 1 lead in the women's challenge by winning the biggest singles title of her career at the USTA Pro Circuit and ITF World Tennis Tour W80 event in Macon, Ga. The men's challenge begins this week at four eligible tournaments, including the ATP Masters 1000 event in Paris.
Standings (as of Nov. 11):
Pictured above: Jack Sock, the 2019 men's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge winner. Photo credit: Getty Images.