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Rune, Karlovic one step away from US Open main draw as top 8 women’s seeds also advance

While teens Rune and Raducanu moved closer to making their US Open debuts, familiar faces Karlovic, Gulbis, Konjuh, Schmiedlova and Marino also remained in the hunt for a main draw berth

Holger Rune of Denmark during ATP80 Challenger in Verona, Italy Holger Rune of Denmark during ATP80 Challenger in Verona, Italy Credit: ZM / Panoramic

Denmark’s Holger Rune is now one victory away from his Grand Slam main draw debut after a straight-sets win over Mitchell Krueger in the second round of qualifying at the US Open.

Rune defeated the American 6-4, 6-1 to extend his winning streak to 12 matches. The Dane won back-to-back ATP Challengers before coming into the US Open qualifiers and has already climbed to No. 145 in the rankings after having started the season at No. 474.

While the teenager Rune was marching towards his first Grand Slam main draw, two ATP veterans had contrasting fortunes on Thursday.

Former world No. 7 and two-time US Open quarter-finalist Fernando Verdasco was defeated 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 by Turkish player Cem Ilkel while former world No. 14 Ivo Karlovic saw off the challenge of Bolivian 17th seed Hugo Dellien 7-5, 6-7(1), 6-2.

Karlovic will take on 15th seed Yuichi Sugita for a spot in the main draw. Sugita scored a 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(4) win over Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Another former top 10 player – Ernests Gulbis – scored a 6-4, 7-5 victory against Slovak Filip Horansky to also move one win away from the main draw.

Top seed Benjamin Bonzi was knocked out on Thursday; the Frenchman was defeated by 410th-ranked Aleksandar Kovacevic, of the United States, 6-3, 6-4. American Maxime Cressy, seeded 29th, also advanced with a 7-5, 6-3 over Brazilian Joao Menezes.

Konjuh leads top 8 women into US Open qualies final round; Raducanu and Marino also win

On the women’s side, top seed Ana Konjuh and second seed Anna Karolina Schmiedlova led the top eight seeds into the final round of the qualifiers.

A former world No 20, Konjuh is now ranked 87th in the world and saw off the challenge of Austria’s Julia Grabher 6-3, 7-6(2) on Thursday.

Second seed Anna Karolina Schmiedlova survived a three-set marathon against Lesia Tsurenko 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Tsurenko battled back from 1-5 down in the final set to 5-5 before Schmiedlova made one final push for the win.

In other results, 31st seed Emma Raducanu, of Great Britain, defeated Mariam Bolkvadze of Georgia, 6-3, 7-5. The British teen, who reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon, is one win away from making her US Open debut but will face a tough opponent in fourth seed Mayar Sherif. The Egyptian scored a 6-4, 6-4 win over Belarus’ Yuliya Hatouk.

Canada’s Rebecca Marino is on the brink of making her first US Open main draw appearance since 2010. The Canadian scored a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win over 19th seed Ysaline Bonaventure.

16-year-old Reese Brantmeier also advanced with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 against Rebecca Sramkova. The American will meet second seed Schmiedlova next.

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