Kenin wins US Open Wild Card Challenge, earns US Open wild card

August 1, 2016 01:22 PM

By Sally Milano,

A year ago, Sofia Kenin earned a wild card into the US Open women's singles draw based on her junior results. This year, she received a wild card because of her performance on the USTA Pro Circuit.

Kenin, a 17-year-old from Pembroke Pines, Fla., will compete in the US Open main draw for the second straight year after winning the USTA Pro Circuit’s US Open Wild Card Challenge over the weekend. She finished the challenge with 81 total points, largely on the strength of winning the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women’s Challenger in Sacramento, Calif., two weeks ago.

Kenin, who goes by Sonya, made her Grand Slam debut at last year's US Open after winning the 2015 USTA Girls’ 18s national title. She lost to Mariana Duque-Marino in the first round of the women’s singles draw last year but rebounded to reach the singles final of the US Open Junior Championships.

Kenin subsequently climbed to No. 2 in the ITF World Junior Rankings in November of last year – she is currently 10th – and reached the quarterfinals at junior Wimbledon earlier this year. She represented the U.S. at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and also competed at the 2016 ITF Junior Masters, both held in China. She won her first USTA Pro Circuit singles title at the $25,000 event in Wesley Chapel, Fla., in January.

In the men’s wild card challenge, Ernesto Escobedo took the lead with 80 points by winning the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships, a $50,000 Challenger held last week in Lexington, Ky. Mitchell Krueger is in second place with 63 points after reaching the quarterfinals in Lexington and the final of the $50,000 Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger in Binghamton, N.Y., two weeks ago.

The men’s US Open Wild Card Challenge concludes the week of Aug. 8 with the $100,000 Nordic Naturals Challenger in Aptos, Calif. All matches are being streamed live

Click here for the latest US Open Wild Card Challenge standings.

The 2016 US Open main draw will be held Monday, Aug. 29, to Sunday, Sept. 11, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.