2019 Australian Open
Wild Card Challenge
November 19, 2018
The USTA will award a singles main-draw wild card into the 2019 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. 22 for the women and Oct. 29 for the men, and conclude the week of Nov. 12 for both. The USTA and Tennis Australia have a reciprocal agreement in which main-draw wild cards for the 2019 US Open and 2019 Australian Open are exchanged.
Only Americans who do not earn direct entry into the Australian Open are eligible. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or best WTA singles ranking on Nov. 19 will be awarded 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 October 29: ATP Masters 1000 (Paris); USTA Pro Circuit $75,000 Challenger (Charlottesville, Va.); ATP $75,000 Challengers (Canberra, Australia; Shenzhen, China)
- Week of November 5: ATP €106,000 Challenger (Bratislava, Slovakia); ATP €85,000 Challenger (Mouilleron-le-Captif, France); USTA Pro Circuit $75,000 Challenger (Knoxville, Tenn.)
- Week of November 12: ATP $150,000 Challengers (Houston; Bangalore, India); USTA Pro Circuit $75,000 Challenger (Champaign, Ill.); ATP $50,000 Challenger (Kobe, Japan)
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 three $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit women’s events (main-draw points only) and one WTA $125,000 event (main-draw and qualifying points).
- Week of October 22: USTA Pro Circuit $80,000 Event (Macon, Ga.)
- Week of October 29: USTA Pro Circuit $80,000 Event (Tyler, Texas)
- Week of November 5: USTA Pro Circuit $80,000 Event (Las Vegas)
- Week of November 12: WTA $125,000 Series Event (Houston)
Nov. ADVERTISEMENT 19 update:
Whitney Osuigwe's quarterfinal run at the Oracle WTA $125,000 event in Houston, coupled with her earlier title in Tyler, Texas, proved enough to clinch the women's challenge. In the end, it all came down to the Houston championship match, in which third-place Lauren Davis fell to Shuai Peng, missing out on her chance to leapfrog Osuigwe and second-place Varvara Lepchenko for the top spot. On the men's side, the Top 4 finishers were Jack Sock, Reilly Opelka, Bradley Klahn and Tommy Paul. With Sock (ranked No. 106) on the cusp of the Australian Open direct-entry cutoff, and Opelka (No. 98) and Klahn (No. 77) in position to earn direct entry, Paul would be the likely beneficiary should Sock not require a wild card.
Nov. 12 update:
Jack Sock's performance at the ATP Paris Masters proved to be enough to clinch the men's challenge, though Reilly Opelka and Tommy Paul will be among those battling for second place in the final week. If the No. 106-ranked Sock receives direct entry into the Australian Open, the USTA wild card will go to the highest-placed finisher who does not receive direct entry. The women's challenge is still up for grabs, with Varvara Lepchenko clinging on to a one-point lead ahead of Whitney Osuigwe. Nicole Gibbs, who reached the final at the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Las Vegas last week, sits in fourth place behind Danielle Lao.
Nov. 5 update:
In the first week of the men's challenge, Jack Sock took a commanding lead with a quarterfinal run at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Paris that earned him 180 ranking points. Despite Sock's big result, Tommy Paul finds himself in striking distance after his 80-point title at the $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Charlottesville, Va. In the second week of the women's challenge, 16-year-old Whitney Osuigwe won her first professional title at the $80,000 event in Tyler, Texas, to move level with Varvara Lepchenko atop the standings, with 125 points.
Oct. 29 update:
Varvara Lepchenko won the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Macon, Ga., to claim an early lead in the 2019 challenge with 115 ranking points. Allie Kiick, who fell to Lepchenko in the semifinals, sits in second place with 42 points. The men's challenge begins on Oct. 29 across four events, including the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Paris.
See below for final standings: