Jul 16, 2022
homegrown talent

The Western & Southern Open announced today it is granting wild cards to three local pros for the qualifying rounds Aug. 13-14. The wild cards for J.J. Wolf, Peyton Stearns and Caty McNally give the players a chance to win their way into the main draw of the top-tier ATP and WTA tournament that draws the world’s top pros.

Wolf, 23, is currently at a career-high ranking of No. 105 after cutting his ranking in half since January. In February, Wolf defeated two former top 20 players in qualifying at the ATP event in Acapulco before upsetting world No. 21 Lorenzo Sonego for his first career ATP Tour-level victory. In March he qualified for both the Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000 events, reaching the second round at both before falling in three sets at each event, including to fifth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas in Miami.

Wolf reached his first main draw on the ATP Tour at the 2020 Western & Southern Open after being granted a wild card into the qualifying tournament. The Cincinnati Country Day graduate played at Ohio State, where he was an All-American and named Big Ten Player of the Year in 2019.

Stearns, 20, who grew up five miles from the tournament in Mason, recently turned pro after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Texas. In her two years there, the school won the NCAA team title twice and Stearns became the first woman in the program’s history to win the NCAA singles title in May, earning a spot in the main draw of the upcoming U.S. Open.

This summer, Stearns has gone 8-3 in lower-level pro events and reached the final in Columbus. In 2021 she collected a lower-tier title and received a wild card into the Western & Southern Open qualifying, falling in the first round.

Madeira’s McNally, 20, has played in five WTA Tour events this year, including a run to the quarterfinals last month in the Netherlands. McNally holds two titles on the lower-level ITF Circuit and reached the third round of the 2020 U.S. Open. A strong doubles player, McNally reached a career-high doubles ranking of No. 11 earlier this year.

McNally has a winning connection to current world No. 1 and Western & Southern Open top seed Iga Swiatek: As juniors, they partnered to win the 2018 French Open girls’ doubles title, and McNally saved a match point to defeat Swiatek in the junior singles event.

Wild cards give players a chance to play an event to earn points on the pro tours to improve their rankings, leading to eligibility for more tournaments. Qualifying rounds give players who did not gain entry into the tournament, based on their ranking, a chance to win their way into the main draw through a two-round competition. The tournament’s full qualifying-round entry list will be released the week of July 25.

The Western & Southern Open main draw player field features the world’s top-ranked 41 men and 39 women, including 11 past champions and 19 Grand Slam major winners. Tournament action will take place Aug. 13-21, where first serve will take place at 10 a.m. on Aug. 13 for the qualifying tournament. The men’s and women’s singles finals will take place on Sunday, Aug. 21. The schedule is available here.

All individual daily tickets for all sessions are on sale now. Multi-day ticket packages are sold out. Information about available tickets can be found at wsopen.com/tickets.

The Western & Southern Open, an ATP Masters 1000 and a WTA 1000, is part of the US Open Series and is held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.