New York | Dart falls at second hurdle; Miyazaki and others delayed by rain

British No 4 Harriet Dart lost her 2nd-round US Open qualifying match before rain delayed play in New York on Thursday, causing fellow Brit Yuriko Lily Miyazaki’s match to be held over until Friday.

Dart’s hopes of reaching the main draw of the season’s last Grand Slam were dashed when she fell to Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, 6-3 6-4, on a rain-hit day of qualifying at Flushing Meadows.

The 27-year old struggled with her serve, and coughed up 7 double-faults in the process, while making only 50% of her first serves.

The match was paused for a brief rain delay at 4-4 in the 2nd set, with the players remaining on the court, and as they finished the match, the rain got heavier and disrupted the schedule.

Wickmayer, the No 3 seed, had lost to Dart on the grass of Surbiton 5 years ago, but the 33-year-old exacted her revenge on the Brit on Thursday.

The Belgian, who reached the US Open semi-finals as a 19-year-old in 2009, which helped propel her to a career-high ranking of No 12 next season, gave birth to daughter Luana two years ago, and, in her come-back, she has improved her ranking from No 323 at the start of this year to her current spot at 86.

Wickmayer next faces Sachia Vickery for a place in the main draw, after the American upset Swiss No 31 seed, Viktorija Golubic, 2-6 6-2 6-2.

Miyazaki, the British No 7, could not finish her 2nd-round qualifying match, and returns on Friday to complete it with the score standing at 6-4, 3-1 against Russia’s Valeria Savinykh.

To qualify for the US Open, which starts at Flushing Meadows on Monday, players must win 3 matches this week.

Two British women have already qualified directly for the main draw in New York as a result of their ranking, with Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage discovering their 1st-round opponents in the draw earlier on Thursday.

Boulter, Britain’s No 1, faces France’s Diane Parry, while Burrage, the No 2, plays Anna Blinkova from Russia.

Dayana Yastremska avenged her loss to Eugenie Bouchard in Madrid but refused to shake her hand because of her accusatory tweet

Meanwhile, former Top 30 players Dayana Yastremska, Tamara Zidansek and Laura Siegemund all moved to within one win of qualifying before evening play was washed out and postponed into Friday.

Ukraine’s Yastremska was one of the lucky players to finish her 2nd-round match, with the No 12 seed overcoming former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard from Canada, 6-1 4-6 6-4, on the Grandstand at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Controversially, Yastremska refused to shake hands with the Canadian after denying the 2014 major finalist a place in the main tournament for the 4th year running.

Four months ago, Bouchard beat Yastremska at the Madrid Open in her first main draw win at the event since triumphing over Maria Sharapova en route to the quarter-finals in 2017, and then took to Twitter to take a swat at both for their past doping violations, posting: “There’s something about playing dopers in Madrid.”

Yastremska had tested positive for the banned substance Mesterolone in a WADA drugs test in November 2020, and was suspended, but she was cleared 6 months later after it was ruled that she bore ‘no fault or negligence for the violation’.

Sharapova had served a 15-month suspension for returning adverse findings for the banned substance Meldonium, which she had been taking for over a decade for health problems, having first been advised to take the drug by a doctor in 2006 when it was not on the WADA’s banned substances list.

Bouchard’s tweet received a mixed reception from fans and was subsequently deleted from social media shortly after she had posted it, and, the next day, she put out an apology: “I want to apologize for my tweet yesterday. It was a lapse in judgment, and unnecessary. Though I’ve always championed fair play, I didn’t have all my facts in order and certainly didn’t mean to cause harm. I’m going to continue to work on myself going forward, both on and off the court.”

Clearly Yastremska still held a grudge against Bouchard, who fired 3 aces while making 3 double-faults, and broke on 2 of her 11 opportunities, but the Ukrainian held the edge, producing 6 aces against her 4 double-faults, and breaking 4 times from her 11 chances.

Yastremska is coming off a WTA 125 title in Kozerki, Poland, earlier this month, her first title at any level since 2019, and the 23-year-old, who has won 3 Hologic WTA Tour singles titles and has been ranked as high as World No 21, avenged her loss to Bouchard in Madrid.

She will meet Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania for a spot in the main draw, who upset Hungary’s Dalma Galfi, the 17th seed, 4-6 6-1 7-5.

Tamara Zidansek outlasted Rebecca Sramkova in 3 sets to advance to the final round of qualifying on Thursday

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Another former Grand Slam semi-finalist, Tamara Zidansek, also advanced after the 19th seed from Slovenia outlasted Rebecca Sramkova from Slovakia, 4-6 6-4 6-2, in nearly two-and-a-half hours.

Zidansek reached the Roland Garros semi-finals in 2021 and peaked at 22 in the rankings the following season.

She needed to convert on 5 of her 10 break points on Thursday to fend off Sramkova and advance to her first career meeting with Tatiana Prozorova in the final qualifying round.

Germany’s Siegemund was another winner on Day 3, as the No 10 seed beat Simona Waltert of Switzerland, 6-2 7-6(4).

The former World No 26’s best Grand Slam singles result was a quarter-final showing at Roland Garros in 2020.

Siegemund takes on No 18 seed Oceane Dodin of France for a place in the main draw, who overcame Russian Marina Melnikova, 1-6 6-2 6-3 on Thursday.

All told, exactly half of the 32 2nd-round qualifying matches scheduled for Thursday will finish on Friday.

Eight of those 16 were interrupted mid-match, and the other 8 were postponed before they had even started.

Among Thursday’s interrupted matches is the duel between former Doubles World No 1 Timea Babos of Hungary and American Fiona Crawley, which is perched precariously at 5-5 in the 3rd-set tiebreak.

In other Thursday results, Elizabeth Mandlik, the daughter of Grand Slam tennis champion Hana Mandlíková, reached round 2 by upsetting Hungary’s Anna Bondar, the No 24 seed, 6-3 7-6(6), and will play Na Lae Han from Korea, who pulled off an upset herself against 8th-seeded Lucrezia Stefanini, 6-4 5-7 7-6(4); while Katie Volynets, the American 25th seed, saw off Swiss youngster Celine Naef, 6-3 6-4, and she will meet Russia’s 19-year old Erika Andreeva, a 6-4 6-2 winner over Croatia’s Petra Marcinko; and Ankita Raina from India took out 14th-seeded Aliona Bolsova, 6-4 6-3 to set up a meeting with Sweden’s Mirjam Bjorklund, who got past Leolia Jeanjean from France, 6-2 6-4.



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