Tennis Stars TAYLOR TOWNSEND And NOAH RUBIN Both Earn 2018 FRENCH OPEN • ROLAND GARROS WILD CARD SPOTS

Written by: on 7th May 2018
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Tennis Australian Open 2017
Tennis Stars TAYLOR TOWNSEND And NOAH RUBIN Both Earn 2018 FRENCH OPEN • ROLAND GARROS WILD CARD SPOTS

epa05726421 Noah Rubin of the USA in action against Roger Federer of Switzerland during round two of the Men's Singles at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 18 January 2017. EPA/LYNN BO BO  |

Noah Rubin, 22, of Long Island, N.Y., will make his main draw debut at this year’s French Open after winning the men’s Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge this weekend. Rubin earned the wild card by winning the $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger in Tallahassee, Fla., two weeks ago for his fourth ATP Challenger singles title, while also earning six ranking points in qualifying at the ATP event in Marrakech, Morocco last month.

Rubin has competed in the Australian Open and US Open main draws, winning matches in Melbourne in 2016 (as a wild card by winning the USTA Pro Circuit Australian Open Wild Card Challenge) and in 2017 (as a qualifier and facing Roger Federer in the second round). He competed in the 2014 US Open as a wild card as the Boys’ 18s national champion. As Top 10 junior player, Rubin reached the quarterfinals of the junior French Open in 2012 before winning the junior Wimbledon singles title in 2014. He is ranked No. 196 in the world.

Taylor Townsend, 22, of Atlanta, will make her fifth consecutive main draw appearance at the French Open by winning women’s wild card challenge. Townsend finished the wild card challenge with 230 points by winning her seventh and eighth career USTA Pro Circuit singles titles at the $80,000 events in Dothan, Ala. and Charleston, S.C. She went 16-2 in singles play over the course of this year’s wild card challenge. Townsend reached the third round of the French Open in 2014—her career-best Grand Slam result—with a win over No. 20 seed Alize Cornet and also won matches at Roland Garros in 2016-17. She is currently ranked a career-high No. 73 in the world and just missed direct entry for the French Open last month.

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 Tour ranking points in a series of clay-court events this spring. For the men’s wild card challenge, USTA Player Development considered all American results worldwide for the wild card. Both USTA Pro Circuit tournaments and international ATP Tour and Challenger tournaments on any professional outdoor clay surface (Har-Tru or red) at prize money of $50,000 and above were included (qualifying and main draw points). The women’s wild card challenge consisted of results earned at four USTA Pro Circuit clay-court events over four weeks in the United States (main draw points only). The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2018 French Open and US Open are exchanged.

The final standings can be found here.

The USTA first used the wild card challenge format for its 2012 French Open wild cards, won by Melanie Oudin and Brian Baker. Oudin and Baker each advanced to the second round at that year’s French Open and subsequently broke into the Top 100. In 2013, Alex Kuznetsov and Shelby Rogers earned the wild cards, with Rogers winning her first-ever Grand Slam singles match at the French Open. In 2014, Townsend and veteran Robby Ginepri received the wild cards, with Townsend becoming a top storyline by reaching the Roland Garros third round. In 2015, young Americans Frances Tiafoe and Louisa Chirico secured the wild cards and in 2016, Townsend and Bjorn Fratangelo earned the wild cards, with both players winning their first-round matches. Last year Amanda Anisimova earned the wild cards with Anisimova being the youngest player to compete in the Roland Garros main draw since Alize Cornet in 2005 at age 15. After their results last year and so far this year, and Anisimova have burst onto the tennis scene with reaching the quarterfinals of the 2018 Australian Open and Anisimova peaking at a career-high No. 130 in the world after reaching the semifinals in Indian Wells.

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