Charleston touring tennis professional Shelby Rogers obviously made the right decision by opting out of an attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open through the USTA's U.S. Open wild-card segment of three tournaments.
Instead, Rogers traveled from France to Austria and qualified for direct entry into the U.S. Open's main draw with a runner-up finish on Sunday in the $250,000 Bad Gastein red-clay tournament. The success advanced Rogers' world ranking 43 spots to a career-high No. 104 in the newest WTA Tour rankings.
The new ranking is enough to send Rogers to New York without having to worry about qualifying or wild-card events, according to Family Circle Cup general manager Bob Moran. Monday was the cutoff day for rankings to determine the direct entry list of 104 players for the U.S. Open.
Rogers returned to her South Florida home base on Monday, and is scheduled to arrive in Charleston on Tuesday night to train at Family Circle's MWTennis Academy, according to Family Circle pro/former Rogers coach Bryan Minton.
The 21-year-old Rogers still plans to play in the $50,000 wild-card event that starts July 21 in Lexington, Ky. She won that tournament a year ago to qualify for the 2013 U.S. Open. She skipped last week's wild-card tournament at Sacramento, Calif., and this week's event at Carson, Calif., making her ineligible for the segment's wild-card competition.
Prior to Bad Gastein, Rogers had never defeated a player ranked higher than No. 90 in the world. But in Austria, she defeated four top-100 players in succession, including No. 16 Carla Suarez Navarro and No. 14 Sara Errani before running into reigning Family Circle Cup champion Andrea Petkovic in the final. Petkovic climbed from No. 20 to No. 18 with her Bad Gastein title.