The USTA Australian Open Men’s Wild Card Fight Gets Underway Today
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA)–If you’re outside the top 100, this is your go time. The USTA Australian Open Men’s Wild Card Challenge gets underway today at the Boar’s Head Resort in Charlottesville, Virginia. Americans Reilly Opelka, Tennys Sandgren, Sekou Bangoura and Jared Donaldson will try to notch the first points toward a run at the Wild Card today, and US compatriots Gonzales Austin, Aron Hiltzik, J.C. Aragone and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski will try to qualify for the event this morning.
It’s a three-event slog: Charlottesville, Knoxville and Champaign. Whoever comes up with the most points in their best two of three tournaments gets a first-round meeting (and the prize money that come with it) in sunny Melbourne.
Last year’s winner, Noah Rubin, is here as is French Open Wild card winner Bjorn Fratangelo. It’s a Challenger with a mission and it’s American on American warfare.
Today, Opelka plays his countryman Bangoura. Tomorrow, Frances Tiafoe will play Ryan Shane in the first round, while 2012 Charlottesville champion Denis Kudla takes on Tommy Paul and Dennis Novikov faces off against Michael Mmoh. Game on!