Ginepri claims wild card into French Open
May 3, 2014 01:45 PM
By Nick McCarvel, special to USTA.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Robby Ginepri found his form just in time.
The former world No. 15 clinched the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge on Saturday with a 6-1, 6-4 win over James McGee in the Tallahassee Tennis Challenger semifinals.
The win earned Ginepri 48 points, vaulting him past Daniel Kosakowski and earning him a wild card into the main draw of the French Open later this month.
“It feels unbelievable,” a smiling Ginepri said after his semifinal win. “I knew the situation the entire week, and every match had more and more build up and anxiety. Coming out here this morning, I was a little tight but had a 6-1 first set, which helped, then got down a couple of breaks in the second set but hung around mentally.”
Ginepri’s mental toughness shined through throughout the week, where he’s played two matches indoors on hard courts because of rain and two outdoors on clay. He’ll play the final of the $50,000 event Saturday afternoon.
It’s the world No. 442’s first trip to the main draw at Roland Garros since 2010, when he reached the fourth round before losing to Novak Djokovic. Ginepri made the fourth round in 2008 as well.
“I’m thrilled to go back to Paris; it’s a special place for me,” the 31-year-old said. Then he joked, “I’ve said this in press conferences there, but I think they named RG after me – Robby Ginepri – not Roland Garros.”
This is the third installment of the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge. In 2012, it was Brian Baker who won the pass into the French Open and, last year, Alex Kuznetsov.
“It’s a big accomplishment, especially with all of the injuries and ups and downs I’ve had,” said Ginepri, who was a US Open semifinalist in 2005. “Last year and the year before, I was contemplating retiring, so if this week didn’t go well, I could have pulled the trigger on that as well. This is a good reward, and I’m definitely eager to work as hard as I can leading into the French and fight hard.”