US Open qualifying: rising stars, legends – ten players to watch in the draw

Gilles Simon, Eugenie Bouchard and Fernando Verdasco are just a few of the big names that will compete in the US Open qualifying draw.

Linda Noskova, Prague 2022 Linda Noskova, Prague 2022 Р© CTK Photobank / Panoramic

US Open qualifying kicks off on Tuesday and the draw features a wide array of young, promising talents looking to take a crack at the Grand Slam stage, as well as seasoned veterans who have been there, done that, and hope to do it again.

Here’s a look at ten names that we’ll be watching as the action kicks off on Monday in Flushing Meadows.

See the complete US Open qualifying draws here: Men | Women

  1. Gilles Simon – in possession of 20 US Open main draw victories, the Frenchman, who has made the round of 16 on two separate occasions, will try to add to that total at his last go-round.
  2. Eugenie Bouchard – The Canadian, now 28 and without a singles ranking, will try to enter the main draw at a Slam for the first time since 2020 Roland-Garros. She played her first match of the season last week at the Vancouver challenger, after missing more than a year with a shoulder injury.
  3. Fernando Verdasco – Two-time quarter-finalist Verdasco (30 wins lifetime), ranked 124, will face Italy’s Gianluca Mager in the first round.
  4. Linda Noskova – the 2021 Roland-Garros girls’ singles champion cut her teeth at the Grand Slam level in Paris this year, losing in the first round. Seeded fourth in the qualies draw (and ranked 87), she’ll face Katarzyna Kawa of Poland in her first round.
  5. Nuno Borges – He has qualified for the last two Slams, but the world No 105 is still searching for his first main draw win. Could this be the time?
  6. Kristina Mladenovic – Can the 2015 quarter-finalist find her missing mojo like her doubles partner Caroline Garcia has? She opens with Czech teen Sara Bejlek in the first round.
  7. Bruno Kuzuhara – the 2022 boys’ singles champion at the Australian Open gets a wild card – the 18-year-old is ranked 762 and has yet to register a tour-level win.
  8. Linda Fruhvirtova – the plethora of talented Czech players is astounding at the moment. The 17-year-old reached the round of 16 at Miami earlier this year, registering wins over Elise Mertens and Victoria Azarenka.
  9. Corentin Moutet – the flamboyant Frenchman’s ranking has dropped like a stone, but he’s still a joy to watch. The world No 112 faces Croatia’s Nino Serdarusic in round one.
  10. Fernanda Contreras Gomez – Mexico’s energetic Contreras Gomez has engineered qualifying runs at each of the last two Slams. The former Vanderbilt Commodore, ranked 201, even won a round in Paris. Also note: she has a sweet one-handed backhand!

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