tsts

Adult Leagues Adult Tournaments Junior Tournaments Jr. Team Tennis Learn more
.
 

Kuznetsov Claims USTA French Open Wild Card

May 2, 2013 05:56 AM
Kuznetsov_2013Tampa-based Alex Kuznetsov has earned the men's main draw wild card into the 2013 French Open by winning the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge on Wednesday.
 
This year the USTA is awarding one men's singles main draw wild card into the French Open to an American player based on his results on the USTA Pro Circuit, and one women's wild card. The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2013 French and US Opens are exchanged.
 
The winner of the men's Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge was determined by the player who amassed the greatest number of ATP ranking points at two of three USTA Pro Circuit claycourt challengers -- a $100,000 event in Sarasota, Fla., and two $50,000 events in Savannah, Ga., and in Tallahassee, Fla.
 
The 26-year-old Kuznetsov has earned at least 115 points in the Wild Card Challenge, winning the title in Sarasota to collect 100 points and earning 15 points by reaching the quarterfinals in Savannah. Wayne Odesnik, who was in second place behind Kuznetsov in the Wild Card Challenge entering Tallahassee, lost Wednesday to Facundo Arguello, 6-3, 6-3.
 
"It was hard not to think about the wild card this week," said Kuznetsov, following his win today. "I've been focusing on my matches and just playing my tennis. I have never played the French Open main draw before, only in the qualifying. Anytime you play in a Grand Slam, it is a really special event, it is always a great experience playing three of five sets in front of tons of people. It will be a lot of fun."
 
Kuznetsov was a qualifier in Sarasota and won seven consecutive matches to take the title. The Sarasota Challenger was Kuznetsov's fourth career USTA Pro Circuit Challenger crown. With his win in Sarasota, Kuznetsov climbed back into the Top 200 and is currently ranked No. 176, his highest ranking since February 2012. Kuznetsov finished 2012 strong, reaching two USTA Pro Circuit finals at the $75,000 Charlottesville (Va.) Challenger and the $15,000 Futures in Mansfield, Texas. However, prior to competing in Sarasota last month, Kuznetsov had not won a match in five straight tournaments and fell to No. 267 in the world.
 
A native of Kiev, Ukraine, where his grandfather was a handball champion, Kuznetsov moved to the U.S. as a young child and was a standout junior and the boys' runner-up at the 2004 junior French Open, where he lost to Gael Monfils. Following a severe leg injury suffered in a 2005 car accident, Kuznetsov came back to play in his first US Open main draw in 2006. In 2007, he won his first Grand Slam match at the Australian Open, reached the round of 16 in doubles at the US Open and posted career-best rankings of No. 158 in singles and No. 78 in doubles. Kuznetsov qualified for the 2012 Australian Open for his first appearance in a Grand Slam main draw since 2007 and faced Rafael Nadal in the first round. Kuznetsov has played in French Open qualifying on four occasions.
 
Kuznetsov joins Brian Baker as the second consecutive French Open junior boys' finalist to earn a USTA wild card into the French Open. Baker, who reached the boys' final of the French Open in 2003, advanced to the second round at last year's French Open after earning the USTA wild card and subsequently broke into the Top 100.
 
Shelby Rogers is currently atop the standings for the French Open women's U.S. wild card after winning the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend and is currently ranked a career-high No. 190. She leads second-place Allie Kiick of Florida.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Back

 

 

 

Print Article Email Article Newsletter Signup Share
 

tsts

tsts

 
AAA_Right_Rail
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Close