Roland Garros wild card challenge
April 13, 2015
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The USTA today announced the tournaments for the Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge, which utilizes the USTA Pro Circuit to award wild cards into the French Open. The three women’s events will be hosted in Dothan, Ala.; Charlottesville, Va.; and Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., and the three men’s events will take place in Sarasota, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; and Tallahassee, Fla. The challenge kicks off today in Sarasota for the men’s events and Monday, April 20, in Dothan for the women’s events.
Har-Tru Sports, the leading provider of clay tennis courts, is in its third year as title sponsor of the challenge. This year, in conjunction with the wild card challenge, Har-Tru is launching a new campaign to recognize court maintenance professionals through the “Love Your Court, Love Your Game” campaign and contest with a cash prize. Har-Tru is also introducing “Court Care Professionals Day” on June 7.
In the Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge, the American man and American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA ranking points at two of the three selected USTA Pro Circuit clay-court events earn main draw wild cards into the French Open. Only Americans who did not otherwise earn direct entry into the French Open are eligible. The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2015 French Open and 2015 US Open are exchanged.
All tournaments will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com. Fans can also download the USTA Pro Circuit app by searching “procircuit” in the app store to follow the action on their cell phones.
The Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge consists of the following USTA Pro Circuit events:
USTA Pro Circuit Men’s Events
Har-Tru’s “Love Your Court, Love Your Game,” campaign and contest empower tennis players, club staff and contractors to nominate their court-care professional(s) who go above and beyond to create great playing experiences for their members. The impetus of this campaign is to demonstrate appreciation for the people who create an optimal tennis environment that is key to players’ success. The campaign will kick off on Monday, April 13, and end on Sunday, May 10. The winner or winning team will be announced on Sunday, June 7, and receive a $5,000 cash prize. Fans of all ages can create a video, showcasing their appreciation for court-care professionals and the impact their work has had on their game. Submissions can be made by visiting loveyourcourt.com.
Sunday, June 7, will also mark “Court Care Professionals Day,” which will honor the contest winner and recognize and celebrate court-care professionals that maintain and preserve great clay-court tennis environments.
“We are so pleased that we have developed the ‘Love Your Court, Love Your Game’ campaign,” said Pat Hanssen, General Manager of Har-Tru Sports. “It’s so important to recognize the contributions of the behind-the-scenes champions for our sport and our industry. To my knowledge this is something that no other manufacturer has done and it’s something that is long overdue.”
The USTA first used this 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. Last year, young American Taylor Townsend and veteran Robby Ginepri earned the wild card cards, with Townsend becoming a top storyline at Roland Garros by reaching the third round.
The 2015 French Open main draw will be held Sunday, May 24, to Sunday, June 7.
Information on the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge will be available at procircuit.usta.com, www.HarTru.com, and on Twitter through @USTAProCircuit and #HarTruWildcard.