Coco Gauff gets U.S. Open wild-card entry

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Coco Gauff will get a chance to try for an encore: The 15-year-old from Florida received a wild-card entry Tuesday for the U.S. Open’s main draw.

It will be Gauff’s second Grand Slam tournament. She made a magical run to the fourth round at Wimbledon last month after getting a wild card into the qualifying rounds there.

Ranked just 313th at the time, Gauff became the youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon, upset five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round and wound up losing at the All England Club to eventual title winner Simona Halep.

Gauff is currently No. 140 in the WTA rankings. She initially made a mark at age 13 by becoming the youngest U.S. Open junior finalist in history; she won the French Open junior title at 14.

Age restrictions set up by the women’s professional tour limit the number of tournaments someone who is 15 can enter and the number of wild-card invitations she can be offered – and Gauff already has accepted three wild cards elsewhere. But according to the WTA, the U.S. Tennis Association – which runs a Grand Slam tournament, and so is not overseen by the WTA or ATP tours – essentially can choose to ignore the eligibility rule and offer Gauff a wild card.

“I want to thank the USTA for the opportunity to participate in my home slam,” Gauff said in a statement emailed by her agent. “I look forward to playing my first main draw at the U.S. Open.”

Among the other players receiving wild cards from the USTA on Tuesday for the women’s field at Flushing Meadows in New York City were 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur – an Australian who was granted that country’s reciprocal berth – and 17-year-old Caty McNally, an American who won the doubles title with Gauff and reached the singles semifinals at the Citi Open in Washington this month.

Gauff and McNally have said they plan to play doubles together at Flushing Meadows; that event’s wild-card entries will be announced later. The pair won the U.S. Open junior doubles trophy together a year ago.

The draw for the U.S. Open is Aug. 22, and play in the year’s last major tennis tournament begins Aug. 26.

Other women’s wild cards went to Francesca Di Lorenzo, Whitney Osuigwe, Kristie Ahn and Katie Volynets of the U.S., along with 16-year-old Diane Parry of France, who got her country’s reciprocal invitation.

Di Lorenzo, a 22-year-old from Ohio, is a past NCAA doubles champion now ranked 128th. Osuigwe, a 17-year-old from Florida, won a French Open junior title and is ranked 105th. Ahn, a 27-year-old from New Jersey, finished first in the USTA’s wild-card challenge, while Volynets, a 17-year-old from California, won the 18s national championship.

Nine wild cards for women’s qualifying were also awarded, including to five-time Grand Slam doubles champion Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 14-year-old Reese Brantmeier of Wisconsin, Vicky Duval, Shelby Rogers and Pan Am Games medalist Caroline Dolehide.

Juan Martin del Porto, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, pulled out of the tournament Tuesday because he is still recovering from surgery on his right kneecap. That allowed Denis Kudla, a 26-year-old from Virginia who was the highest-ranked man to miss out on making the field via direct acceptance, to get into the main draw just hours after he was announced as a wild-card recipient.

So the USTA announced that Kudla’s wild card would now go to Chris Eubanks, a 23-year-old from Georgia. Others getting into the main draw include Americans Jack Sock, Bjorn Fratangelo, Marcos Giron, USTA wild-card challenge winner Ernesto Escobedo and 18s national champion Zachary Svajda, along with Antoine Hoang, who got France’s reciprocal entry. The Australian federation has not announced who will get its men’s wild-card invitation.

Men awarded wild cards for qualifying include Sebastian Korda, the son of 1998 Australian Open champion Petr Korda, as well as last year’s 18s national champion, Jenson Brooksby.

Alycia Parks reaches 1st WTA quarterfinal in Ostrava

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — American qualifier Alycia Parks is having quite the breakthrough tournament in Ostrava.

The 21-year-old Parks earned her first win against a top-10 ranked opponent by beating fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 at the Agel Open on Thursday to reach her first WTA Tour quarterfinal.

The 144th-ranked Parks ousted former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in the opening round – her first win against a top-20 opponent – and showed off her power by hitting 59 winners against Sakkari, compared to just nine for her opponent.

“I came out here not expecting anything, just playing my game, and it got me through the match,” Parks said.

Parks will next face former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who advanced via walkover when Belinda Bencic withdrew with a left foot injury.

Caty McNally, another American qualifier who is playing doubles with Parks in Ostrava, also reached the last eight by beating wild-card entry Karolina Muchova 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. McNally is also into her first WTA quarterfinal and will face top-ranked Iga Swiatek, who advanced Wednesday.

Djokovic beats Van de Zandschulp to reach Astana quarters

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Add Botic van de Zandschulp to the long list of players to have been schooled by Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic eased past Van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday in his first career meeting with the 27-year-old Dutchman to reach the quarterfinals of the Astana Open.

Van de Zandschulp earned one break point in each set but couldn’t seriously threaten Djokovic, who is looking for a second straight indoor hardcourt title after winning in Tel Aviv last week.

“(In the) second set I think I started to read his serve better and just started swinging through the court more,” Djokovic said. “Botic is a quality tennis player. When he has time, he can hurt you, so I tried to take away that time from him and I’m very pleased with the way I played, particularly in the second.”

Djokovic will next face Karen Khachanov, who rallied to beat Marin Cilic 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. If the 21-time Grand Slam champion gets past that one, he could come up against fellow former No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. The second-seeded Russian beat Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-3, 6-2 to move one match away from a potential rematch of last year’s U.S. Open final, when Medvedev beat Djokovic to deny his attempt at a calendar-year Grand Slam.

Medvedev will first have to beat Roberto Bautista Agut, who advanced Wednesday.