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Osuigwe clinches Australian Open wild card from USTA

Day Seven: The Championships - Wimbledon 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Whitney Osuigwe of the United States plays a forehand in her Girls’ Singles first round match on day seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 9, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Whitney Osuigwe, a 16-year-old from Florida, has earned an Australian Open wild-card berth from the U.S. Tennis Association.

Osuigwe clinched a spot in the field at next year’s first Grand Slam tournament by faring the best in recent lower-level tournaments, including a title at a USTA Pro Circuit event in Tyler, Texas.

She played in the main draw at a major championship for the first time at the 2018 U.S. Open, gaining entrance by winning the USTA 18s national title.

Jack Sock earned the USTA’s wild card for men at the Australian Open, although he could get into the field via direct entry because he is currently ranked 106th. With the next two men in the USTA standings, 98th-ranked Reilly Opelka and 77th-ranked Bradley Klahn, expected to automatically qualify to play in Melbourne, the USTA said Monday that its men’s wild card could wind up with Tommy Paul, who is ranked 205th.

The Australian Open starts on Jan. 14.