Townsend To Make Grand Slam Debut
Published May 07, 2014 12:12
Eighteen-year-old Taylor Townsend has been announced as the USTA's singles main draw wildcard into the French Open due to her results at recent USTA Pro Circuit clay court events as part of the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge.
Townsend earned 160 points in the wildcard challenge by winning back-to-back titles in Charlottesville and Indian Harbour Beach the last two weeks. She also won the doubles alongside Asia Muhammad at both tournaments.
"It's a great feeling to know I earned this with my play and my hard work and wasn't given it," Townsend said. "I'm going into this tournament really confident. I'm playing really well.
"I'm going to Strasbourg and I'm going to play qualies there and then go to Paris. It's important to get over there and get used to the time change and everything."
The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wildcards into the 2014 French and US Opens are exchanged.
"I think the USTA Pro Circuit is great," Townsend said. "It's an opportunity to get a lot of matches and points. It's nice that it's in the US, as there are not a lot of tournaments over here anymore. Having the wildcard on the line makes it all the more competitive. It drew great crowds and was fun."
Townsend will make her Grand Slam main draw debut with former World No.4 and fellow Houston resident Zina Garrison by her side.
"I've had a lot of fun working with Zina," Townsend said. "We've been working a lot on mental training. It wasn't that much tweaking my strokes. It was more me getting an understanding of how to play the game. I'm really looking forward to going over to Europe with her.
"I just want to embrace every opportunity that comes my way. I don't want to just be happy to be there. I want go to out there and compete."
Townsend's professional accomplishments include winning her first WTA main draw match at Indian Wells in 2013 over World No.57 Lucie Hradecka and securing her first Top 50 win at Indian Wells earlier this year against World No.49 Karin Knapp.
The men's singles main draw wildcard went to former World No.15 Robby Ginepri.