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Townsend wins Pro Circuit Challenge, secures French Open wild card

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 26: Taylor Townsend of the United States returns a shot during her Women's Singles match against Tereza Smitkpova of Czech Republic on day three of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on May 26, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
May 7, 2016 11:04 PM

By E.J. Crawford, USTA.com

Taylor Townsend is heading back to Roland Garros.

The former world junior No. 1 has won the USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge for the second time in three years to secure a spot in the main draw of the 2016 French Open. She also won the Challenge in 2014 and reached the third round at that year’s French Open, defeating No. 20 seed Alize Cornet along the way, and last year she fell in the first round after earning direct entry into the main draw.

Townsend secured this year’s bid by winning Saturday to reach the final of the $75,000 Revolution Technologies Pro Tennis Classic in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. In other Challenge events, the 20-year-old from Atlanta took home the title at the $50,000 Boyd Tinsley Clay Court Classic in Charlottesville, Va., and reached the final of the $50,000 Hardee’s Pro Classic in Dothan, Ala.

That put her well clear of Grace Min, the only woman who could catch her in the standings heading into the weekend.

Click here to see the 2016 USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge standings.

USTA Player Development awards a French Open main-draw wild card to one American man and one American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA ranking points in a series of USTA Pro Circuit clay-court events this spring. Only players who have not earned direct acceptance into Roland Garros are eligible for the wild card.

The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have an agreement to exchange wild cards into the French Open and US Open. Earlier, Bjorn Fratangelo secured the men’s wild card into this year’s French Open.

Townsend, the 2012 Australian Open girls’ singles champion and 2013 Wimbledon girls’ finalist, peaked at No. 94 in the world in February 2015. She is currently No. 208.