Highlights from Monday's play in the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships at the University of Kentucky's Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex:
A wild wild-card race
A compelling sidelight to the Lexington Challenger event is the annual pursuit of points toward a wild-card berth in the main draw of the upcoming U.S. Open. The wild card goes to the player who earns the most points in three specific Challenger events, of which the Kentucky Bank is the last stop. Points are calculated from each player's best two.
Seven women came to Lexington vying for the wild card. Leading the group with 30 points was rising University of Florida sophomore Brooke Austin. Fellow wild-card contender Jamie Loeb, the 2015 NCAA singles champion from North Carolina, took down the wild-card leader 7-6 (5), 6-2.
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Loeb was to try to earn her spot into the main draw when she played fellow American Amanda Rodgers in the third round of qualifying on Tuesday.
Joining the wild-card race are CiCi Bellis, Danielle Lao, Melanie Oudin and Kristie Ahn, all who are in the main draw and all who are tied in the wild-card challenge with 16 points apiece.
* In the men’s wild-card race, Bjorn Fratangelo stands atop the group with 48 points. In close second with 29 points is Sekou Bangoura. They were scheduled to meet in the first round of the main draw at about 3 p.m. Tuesday.
UK's Quigley returns
Five-time University of Kentucky All-American Eric Quigley returned to the courts at Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex to play doubles in the main draw with fellow Wildcat Beck Pennington, a rising senior from Bowling Green who plays No. 1 singles for UK.
Pennington and Quigley took the first set, 6-2, against Carstan Ball of Australia and Brydan Klein of Great Britain but lost the second set, 6-4. In the third set tie-break the points went back and forth until Ball and Brydan edged away 10-8 to win the match.
“It always feels good to have people rooting for you," Quigley said afterward. "A lot of times on the road you don’t get crowds like this, let alone people cheering for you. I’ve played so much tennis on these courts, they’re very familiar and so it’s always good to be back in Lexington."
Quigley plays singles against Enzo Couacaud in the first round of the main draw at approximately 7 p.m. Tuesday. Immediately following his match, wild card Tom Jomby, another former Wildcat, will play singles against Guilherme Clezar.
Wildcats Chumney and Lewis in doubles
UK teammates Morgan Chumney and Kirsten Lewis will begin their run at the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships in doubles against fellow Americans Tory Parravi and Amanda Rodgers at around 9 p.m. Tuesday.