16-year-old American Whitney Osuigwe will be one of the wild-card entrants at the 2019 Australian Open after winning the honour from the USTA earlier this week.
She managed to bag the spot in the 128-women strong field in Melbourne after finishing as the best among the Americans participating in lower level competitions. She had earlier won the tournament at Tyler, Texas, a USTA Pro Circuit event.
The other tournaments that served as qualifiers for the wild-card entry were Macon, Las Vegas and Houston, with the combined results from these tournaments taken as a means to decide who was awarded the wild-card.
Osuigwe’s first ever major came at the 2018 US Open which she qualified by triumphing at the USTA 18s national tournament. She lost her first round match in straight sets to Camila Giorgi at the US Open.
The men’s section of the draw at the Australian Open will see USA’s Jack Sock earn one of the wild-cards. However, his current ATP Ranking is 106 and there’s every chance it might improve enough to get him a direct entry to feature in the first Grand Slam of the year.
If that was to be the case and with Reilly Opelka and Bradley Klahn also expected to get a direct entry into the Australian Open, the USTA announced the wild-card could be allocated to the 205th-ranked Tommy Paul.
Paul’s career best ranking of 149th came at the start of the year and he is also a former French Open boys’ singles winner, a title he won by beating Taylor Fritz in the final. He has also been a finalist at the boys’ singles competition in the 2015 US Open, before he lost to Fritz in the final.
Having made it to the quarter-final at last year’s Citi Open, where he lost to Kei Nishikori, things looked like they were headed in the right direction for Paul but a lacklustre 2018 seems to have pulled him back a tad.