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Coco Gauff Will Play in the U.S. Open as a Wild Card

The United States Open announced its wild-card decisions on Tuesday, confirming that Wimbledon’s breakout star, Coco Gauff, had been chosen for the tournament’s main draw.

Gauff, 15, will be making her second appearance in a Grand Slam main draw when she competes in Queens later this month.

Wild cards allow players who don’t have enough rankings points to gain entry into the main draw of an event without competing in its qualifying tournament. The Grand Slam tournaments distribute their wild cards in a way that promotes players from the host country.

After becoming the youngest qualifier in Wimbledon history, Gauff announced her arrival on the tennis scene last month with a first-round victory over Venus Williams, a five-time Wimbledon singles champion. Gauff followed that win with victories over two veterans, Magdalena Rybarikova and Polona Hercog, before losing in the fourth round to Simona Halep, the eventual champion.

Another U.S. Open wild card spot went to Caty McNally, 17, who reached the semifinals at the Citi Open in Washington this month and also won the doubles title there with Gauff.

Gauff, who is ranked 140th in the world, has not played since Washington because of WTA limits on the number of tournaments young players can enter, but she will play an exhibition match next week against Ashleigh Barty, the world No. 2, in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Two other 17-year-old Americans, Whitney Osuigwe and Katie Volynets, the national junior champion, received wild cards, as did Francesca Di Lorenzo, 22, and Kristie Ahn, 27, both also Americans.

Notably left out was 135th-ranked Nicole Gibbs, 26, who returned to the tour this summer after receiving treatment for oral cancer.

ImageCreditPatrick Semansky/Associated Press

Two so-called reciprocal wild cards went to the 2011 U.S. Open champion, Samantha Stosur, 35, of Australia, who is now ranked 131st, and to Diane Parry of France, 16.

Reciprocal wild cards are the result of agreements among the United States Tennis Association and the Australian and French tennis federations. Each gives two of its Grand Slam wild cards, one for women and one for men, to the others.

On the men’s side at the U.S. Open, wild cards went to several American players: Ernesto Escobedo, Bjorn Fratangelo, Marcos Giron, Christopher Eubanks, Jack Sock and Zachary Svajda, the national junior champion.

Sock, ranked 176th, has not won a match in singles this year. He will be playing for the fourth time since returning from an operation on his right thumb.

The omission of 112th-ranked Tommy Paul, 22, was probably the greatest surprise on the men’s side. Paul, ranked dozens of spots ahead of other Americans who received wild cards, has been one of the country’s most consistent young players this year, climbing more than 200 spots in the rankings over the last 12 months.

The French men’s reciprocal wild card went to Antoine Hoang, 23, who reached the third round at the French Open this year. The men’s reciprocal wild card for Australia has not been selected, possibly a result of turmoil in the ranks of Australian men’s tennis.

Andy Murray, the 2012 U.S. Open singles champion, withdrew from wild-card consideration after the tournament did not extend the timetable for announcing its choices. Murray, 32, who has been making a steady comeback from hip surgery, will compete in men’s doubles and mixed doubles with partners yet to be determined.

More coverage of GauffKeeping Cori Gauff Healthy and SaneJul 2, 2019Cori Gauff Storms Back for Another Wimbledon WinJul 5, 2019


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