Eight Current or Former Collegians Receive US Open Qualifying Wild Cards
FLUSHING, N.Y., Aug. 15, 2017 – The USTA today announced that rising young Americans Taylor Fritz, Bjorn Fratangelo, Christopher Eubanks, 2017 NCAA singles champion Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, 2017 USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion Patrick Kypson and US Open Wild Card Challenge winner Tommy Paul have been awarded men’s singles main draw wild cards into the 2017 US Open. Nineteen-year old Frenchman Geoffrey Blancaneaux was awarded a main draw wild card by the French Tennis Federation as part of its reciprocal agreement with the USTA, and Tennis Australia awarded its reciprocal agreement main draw wild card to 18-year-old Alex de Minaur.
The 2017 US Open main draw will be played Aug. 28-Sept. 10 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Both the men’s and women’s singles champions this year will earn $3.7 million.
Fritz, 19, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., is a former world No. 53 who is currently ranked No. 120. He took a three-month break from competition during the clay-court season to train; since then he has qualified for Wimbledon and reached the quarterfinals at the ATP 250 event in Los Cabos, Mexico. Fritz won the 2015 US Open junior title and reached the final in Memphis in 2016, becoming the youngest American to reach an ATP final since Michael Chang in 1989.
Fratangelo, 24, of Pittsburgh, is ranked No. 130. He advanced to the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Open ATP 250 in Newport, R.I., this summer. Fratangelo is a former French Open junior champion and will be competing in his third consecutive US Open main draw.
Eubanks, 21, of Atlanta, is a rising senior at Georgia Tech. He is having a breakout summer playing US Open Series events, having reached the quarterfinals of the BB&T Atlanta Open ATP 250 and qualified for the Western & Southern Open ATP Masters 1000 in Cincinnati. The 6-foot-7 Eubanks grew up training with Top 100 American Donald Young and his family in Atlanta.
Kwiatkowski, 22, of Charlotte, N.C., won the 2017 NCAA men’s singles championship as a senior at the University of Virginia. Kwiatkowski, currently ranked No. 690, was a member of three NCAA championship title-winning teams at Virginia (2015-17) and earned his third All-American singles honor this past season. He also won last year’s American Collegiate Invitational at the US Open.
Paul, 20, of Greenville, N.C., is ranked No. 175 and earned his wild card by winning the 2017 US Open Wild Card Challenge. Paul will be making his second US Open appearance after qualifying for the main draw in 2015 as a qualifying wild card—just the 16th player ever to compete in the US Open main draw as a qualifying wild card. This summer, Paul reached back-to-back ATP quarterfinals in Atlanta and Washington D.C.—his first career ATP quarterfinal appearances—and defeated Young to reach the second round in Cincinnati.
Kypson, 17, of Raleigh, N.C., earned the wild card allotted to the USTA Boys’ 18s national champion. Kypson, ranked No. 917, is a Top 20 world-ranked junior who reached the boys’ semifinals at Wimbledon this summer. He’s part of a group of American juniors to have trained with Ivan Lendl over the last several years as part of a USTA Player Development initiative.
Blancaneaux, 19, of Paris, received his wild card as part of the USTA’s reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation that allowed Tennys Sandgren to make his Grand Slam main draw debut at Roland Garros this year. Blancaneaux is ranked No. 328.
De Minaur, 18, of Sydney, received his wild card as part of the USTA’s reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia, which allowed Michael Mmoh to play in January’s Australian Open. De Minaur is ranked No. 186.
In addition to the eight US Open men’s singles main draw wild cards, the USTA also announced the nine men who have been awarded wild-card entries into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which will be held Aug. 22-25 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Eight of the nine players receiving US Open qualifying wild cards are current or former collegians: William Blumberg (19, Greenwich, Conn.), the 2017 NCAA singles runner-up as a freshman at North Carolina; 2014 NCAA singles champion at UCLA Marcos Giron (24, Thousand Oaks, Calif.); 23-year old Christian Harrison (Shreveport, La.), who reached the 2012 US Open doubles quarterfinals with brother Ryan and qualified for the main draw last year after a 2 ½-year absence from play during which he underwent seven surgeries on various injuries; 25-year old Evan King (Chicago), a former All-American at Michigan; 26-year old Bradley Klahn (Poway, Calif.), the 2010 NCAA singles champion at Stanford; former USTA Boys’ 18s champion and Texas A&M All-American Austin Krajicek (27, Brandon, Fla.); 26-year old Daniel Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif.), a four-time NCAA team champion at USC; former USC All-American Raymond Sarmiento (25, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.); and JJ Wolf (19, Cincinnati), the 2017 USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships runner-up who was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year at Ohio State.
Twenty years ago, the US Open was transformed by the introduction of Arthur Ashe Stadium. The centerpiece of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Arthur Ashe Stadium provided the game’s greats – and its greatest fans – with a stage unmatched in the sport. Boasting a capacity of more than 23,000, Arthur Ashe Stadium is the largest tennis-only stadium in the world, allowing the Open to welcome more than half a million more fans annually than when its namesake won the men’s singles championship in 1968. Best of all, the stadium has grown with the times. In 2016, it added a retractable roof, banishing rain delays to the historical record and ensuring that US Open attendees could continue to experience the excitement of US Open tennis – regardless of the weather. Today, Arthur Ashe Stadium provides the ultimate showcase for the world’s finest players to complete the toughest two weeks in tennis.
The US Open is one of the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world. US Open tickets can be purchased: at USOpen.org; by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-OPEN-TIX; and at all Ticketmaster outlets.