Come Friday in New York, Astra Sharma will be the one Australian remaining out of ten that started with the chance to qualify and be part of the main draw of this years US Open.
On Thursday at Flushing Meadows the tenth seed claimed another straight sets win, but it wasn't straight forward against Switzerland's Susan Bandecchi prevailing 6-4, 7-6 just inside two hours on a very warm day. The West Aussie won just one more point overall 78-77 with six aces, and winning 79 per cent of first serve points.
To make it to her third consecutive US Open main draw, she will have to overcome 23rd seed Harmony Tan of France who is ranked twenty four spots below her.
On the men's side Chris O'Connell was outgunned by Germany's Mats Moraing who put on a serving masterclass with 18 aces, winning 75% off first serve points and O'Connell couldn't really get any good return looks and heartbreak for Thanasi Kokkinakis in the final match of the day that went the distance, where he was just edged 6-7, 6-4, 6-7 by experienced Japanese Yuichi Sugita. Kokkinakis won one more point overall 116/115, and wizzed past 30 aces but couldn't sneak over the line. Overall this year he has a 9/13 tie break record.
Outside of the Aussies, Men's top seed Benjamin Bonzi of France fell to American wildcard Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-3, 6-4. The second best eighteen year old in the game, the fast rising Holge Rune of Denmark (145 live) had a 6-4, 6-1 win over American Mitchell Krueger to put himself with one win of his US main draw debut. Former World number 13 Ernests Gulbis won through to the final qualifying round 6-4, 7-5 as did forty two year old Ivo Karlovic 7-5, 6-7, 6-2.
On the women's side top seed Ana Konjuh of Croatia, who reached 20 in the world at just nineteen before injuries set in had a 6-3, 6-2 victory to be within one win of returning to the main draw for the first time since 2017. It was a good day for all the top 10 seeds except for Belgium's Maryna Zanevska the ninth seed who fell 7-6, 6-4. Great Britain's 18 year old Emma Raducanu who had that amazing run to the fourth round out of qualifying also advanced to the final round with a 6-3, 7-5 win.
It's over to Astra Sharma from 1AM AEST Saturday morning to see if she can join our other four aussie women in the main draw come Monday.
Listen to The First Serve with Brett Phillips and Sam Groth previewing the US Open – 6.30pm-8pm AEST Monday 30th August on 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1629AM SEN SA / replayed at 8pm AEST on 1170am Sydney or listen live and catch up on the SEN App.
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