Qualifying for the US Open kicked off this week in New York, where 128 women are competing for 16 coveted spots in the main draw.
Five Brits are in the mix, led by Katie Boulter, seeded 25 with Jodie Burrage, Heather Watson, Katie Swan, Yuirko Miyazaki and Sonay Kartal alongside, none of whom were in action on Day 1.
Watson, a former British No 1 who did not gain direct entry into a major for the first time since the 2019 US Open, plays Russia’s Marina Melnikova at 4pm BST.
Now ranked 161 in the world, Watson is followed onto court 10 by Boulter, the British No 3, who plays France’s Fiona Ferro.
Jodie Burrage faces American Caty McNally at about 10pm on Court 5, with Lily Miyazaki and Sonay Kartal also playing on Wednesday.
British No 1 and 2, Emma Raducanu and Harriet Dart have direct entry into the main draw, which starts at Flushing Meadows on Monday.
Canadian Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard advanced into the 2nd-round of US Open qualifying with a 6-3 6-3 win over Yuki Naito of Japan, and will face a stern test on Thursday when she faces 4th-seeded Linda Noskova, a 17-year-old Czech who is No 87 in the WTA rankings.
It was the first win for the 28-year-old since March 2021 as she has been sidelined with a shoulder injury that required surgery and only returned to action last week, when she lost to Arianne Hartono of the Netherlands in the 1st-round of a WTA 125 event in Vancouver.
The former Top 5 player is unseeded here and has entered on an injury-protected ranking.
Bouchard, now 28, last played in the main draw of a Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2020, and last appeared at the Open in 2019. She reached a career-high ranking of No. 5, becoming the first Canadian player to be ranked in the Top 5 in singles.
Three Australian women, Maddison Inglis, Kimberly Birrell and Astra Sharma, all scored 1st-round qualifying wins, with Inglis recovering from a perilous position to advance after trailing Georgia’s Ekaterine Gorgodze 1-3 in the final set, and 2-6 in the subsequent match tiebreak, before fighting back to secure a 7-5 3-6 7-6(8) victory at Flushing Meadows.
Inglis screamed in delight as she clinched match point after almost 3 hours of play, and was cheered on by a large crowd who had gathered around Court 6 in the shadows of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“Towards the end, everyone kind of came over and there was huge support when either of us won a point, so it was an awesome atmosphere,” Inglis told tennis.com.au. “And to have so many kids come up and watch and want autographs, it’s really special.
“I don’t feel like it was the prettiest tennis out there. She’s a really tough competitor, lost to her a couple of times in long matches.
“And I know she’s going to compete every point, so I’m really happy I was able to get through it, just, at the end.”
Earlier, 24-year old Birrell, competing in New York for the first time, scored a 6-4 6-2 win against American Emina Bektas after 69 minutes.
Sharma also advanced after saving a match point in her 1-6 6-1 7-6(10) victory against France’s Jessika Ponchet.
In a one-hour and 53-minute battle defined by some extreme momentum swings, the 26-year-old Australian fought back after squandering a 9-5 lead in the match tiebreak.
Sharma, who successfully qualified at last year’s US Open, eventually sealed victory on her 5th match point.
Tuesday’s play started in style when top seed Ana Bogdan rallied from a set down to move safely through to Round 2.
Noskova, together with her 17-year old compatriot Linda Fruhvirtova, are set to make headlines, having both enjoyed safe passage through to the 2nd-round with straight-sets wins in their openers.
Playing back-to-back on Court 11, Noskovawas a 6-1 7-6(2) winner over Poland’s Katarzyna Kawa, while Fruhvritova knocked off 29th seed Ylena In-Albon of Switzerland, 6-3 6-3.
Both these Lindas had decorated careers as juniors, with Noskova winning the girls’ singles title at Roland Garros 12 months ago, while Fruhvirtova reached a career-high ranking of No 2.
Neither had played in the women’s event at the US Open before arriving here with a bang this year.
There was a notable rule change ahead of the 2022 US Open, and it was seen in action on Day 1.
In March, the four Grand Slams jointly-announced that they will play a consistent format in final sets at their championships so when the score reaches 6-6, a deciding tiebreak will be played to 10 points instead of the traditional 7.
Carolina Alves, from Brazil, became the first woman to pull off the feat with a 6-2 6-7 7-6(8) win over Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele, saving a match point earlier in the decider.
Runner-up at the USTA’s national junior championships earlier this month, Valerie Glozman, made her mark on an international stage by reach round 2 in her first Grand Slam action.
The 15-year old, who is playing her first professional-level event of any kind at the Open, defeated Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic, 6-3 7-6(6).
The teen, who plays two-handed on both sides, befuddled her more experienced opponent and showed she was more than capable at the net over the course of an hour and 43 minutes, saving a set point in the second set, and winning on her 4th match point.