Britain’s Lily Miyazaki made it into the main draw of the US Open with a 6-3 4-6 6-4 upset win over Slovakia’s Viktoria Hruncakova, the 9th seed, in the final round of qualifying held on Saturday at Flushing Meadows.
I'm really happy. My mind is still racing. I'm really proud of all the work I've put in. Lily Miyazaki
It is the 27-year old British No 7’s first qualification for a Grand Slam event, having previously been given a wild-card at Wimbledon last year.
“I’m really happy,” said Miyzaki, who attended Oklahoma University from 2014-19 and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in information technology management. “My mind is still racing. I’m really proud of all the work I’ve put in.”
Miyazaki, ranked 199, moved to London aged 10 but only changed allegiance from Japan to Great Britain last year.
She has now won 3 matches in a rain-affected qualifying week, and joins Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage, Britain’s two highest-ranked women, in the main draw where she plays her 1st-round match on Monday against Russia’s Margarita Betova, who is playing under a protected ranking after coming back from having a child.
After rain played havoc with matches on Thursday and Friday, US Open qualifying came to a conclusion on Saturday when 9 more qualifiers, plus 2 lucky losers, earned spots in the main draw of the year’s last Grand Slam event.
Leading the line-up of qualifiers on Saturday is former World No 2 Vera Zvonareva, the 2010 runner-up, after the 38-year-old beat Japan’s Moyuka Uchijima, 7-5 6-3.
Zvonareva, who lost to Kim Clijsters in the US Open final 13 years ago, will play in the main draw for the 4th time since she gave birth to daughter Evelina in 2016.
Onetime Aussie teenage prodigy Olivia Gadecki crushed American Emina Bektas, 6-1 6-1, in less than an hour to boost her country’s contingent to 5 players in the women’s draw, where she will play Russia’s precocious 16-year old, Mirra Andreeva.
Although Gadecki’s fellow Queenslander Kim Birrell lost her final-round qualifying encounter, 6-3 6-3, to 21-year old American Fiona Crawley, she earned a late entry into the main draw as a lucky loser following the withdrawals on Sunday of Canadian Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion, and Spain’s Paula Badosa due to injuries.
Gadecki and Birrell join returning 2022 quarter-finalist Ajla Tomljanovic, Daria Saville and wild-card Storm Hunter in the main draw, all of whom play on Day 1.
Birrell is up against American Jennifer Brady, the 2020 Australian Open runner-up on the come-back trail, while Tomljanovic, playing her first match of the season after making last year’s quarter-finals in New York, faces Hungary’s World No 124 Panna Udvardy.
Saville plays US teenage wild-card Clervie Ngounoue, with the winner likely to meet World No 1 and defending champion Iga Swiatek in the 2nd-round.
Hunter has a tough opener against Czech 10th seed Karolina Muchova, the 2023 French Open runner-up.
Meanwhile, former Top 50 player Yafan Wang of China continued her superb come-back season, qualifying with a 6-2 6-2 win over Spain’s Marina Bassols Ribera in just 61 minutes.
Wang missed 7 months of action last year, and slid down to No 696 this March, but she has posted a 56-10 win-loss record this year, mostly at ITF Challenger events, and is close to re-entering the Top 100.
Kaja Juvan of Slovenia saved 5 match points in her 2-6 7-6(8) 6-4 win over Japan’s Himeno Sakatsume on Saturday; while Eva Lys of Germany took out American wild-card McCartney Kessler, 6-2 6-1; 5th seed Greet Minnen from Belgium got past another American, Katrina Scott, 6-3 4-6 6-2; and France’s Elsa Jacquemot was a 7-6(3) 6-1 winner over Mai Hortono from Japan
Seven players had already qualified for the main draw after wins on Friday: Laura Siegemund of Germany, Mirjam Bjorklund of Sweden, Han Na-Lae of South Korea, Tatiana Prozorova, Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania, and Americans Sachia Vickery and Katie Volynets.