Two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia and Americans Robby Ginepri and Donald Young were among seven men given wild-card entries into the U.S. Open.
Hewitt, 30, won the tournament in 2001, while Ginepri, 28, advanced to the semifinals in 2005, his best career finish at a Grand Slam. They and Young are joined as wild-cards by Julien Benneteau of France and Americans Ryan Harrison, Jack Sock and 2011 collegiate champion Steve Johnson, the United State Tennis Association said today in an e-mailed release.
The U.S. Open, the final Grand Slam of the tennis schedule, runs Aug. 29-Sept. 11 at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York. An American male hasn’t won the tournament, which carries a $1.8 million purse for the singles champions, since Andy Roddick in 2003.
Young, 22, won the 2005 Australian Open Junior Championships and the 2007 Junior Wimbledon. After not receiving an invitation to qualify at the French Open this year, Young has risen to No. 89 in the ATP World Tour rankings, his highest in more than three years.
Harrison, at 19 the youngest American in the top 100 at No. 78, lost in five sets to Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round at the U.S. Open last year after failing to convert three match points in the fifth-set tiebreak. Sock, 18, won his second consecutive USTA Boys’ 18s title on Aug. 14 and Johnson, 21, is the reigning National Collegiate Athletic Association champion from the University of Southern California.
Benneteau, 29, has a 10-15 record this season after reaching a career-high No. 32 in 2010.
One more spot will be given to the winner of the U.S. Open Wild Card Playoff, an eight-player invitation in College Park, Maryland, this week, the USTA said.