The qualifying stage of the US Open 2023 was heavily tormented by rain conditions, which lengthened whole the action. We got to know the names of players who made it through the Grand Slam's main draw as late as on Saturday. 18 players out of all who appeared in the final round moved into main draw, as two lucky losers found their place there apart from 16 winners, who prevailed in a long and demanding three-rounds tassle. This happened, because Paula Badosa and Bianca Andreescu are the players, who withdrew from the tournament on Saturday due to injury issues.
Crawley performs a sensation
Fiona Crawley is probably the most sensational name out of all the qualifiers. The college player, who appeared in the qualies as a wild card receiver, advanced into main draw of Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career, while being ranked 731th in the WTA list. The road to this achievement was a real rollercoaster. Crawley advanced into final round of qualies after defeating two Hungarians - Reka Luka Jani and Timea Babos, winning both the matches in decisive tiebreaks. The match against Babos took two days to get completed, as after 3 hours of play during the score 5-5 in 3rd set's tiebreak, it got suspended due to rain and scheduled to be completed on next day. After resumption, Crawley won 5 points in a row to earn the advance into final round, where she faced Kimberly Birrell. The 13th seed was a confident pre-match favorite, while the odds were rating Crawley's chance for the win by 3.87. The American won in straight sets by 6-3 6-3 and performed the biggest upset of the final round on paper. Crawley will make her Grand Slam's debut during the first round's match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Despite the lose, Birrell has also advanced into main draw, being one of two lucky losers. The Australian faces Jennifer Brady in opening round.
Prozorova prevails in a thriller
Saying that Tatiana Prozorova has fought hard for her place in main draw, is quite an understatement. The Russian, ranked 229th in WTA list, earned her Grand Slam's debut after defeating Tamara Zidansek in final round's match which got settled after 3,5 hours of battle. Prozorova approached the final round after winning two previous matches, where she was not a favorite. The Russian was rated with an odd 3.11 against Irina Shymanovich in second round, while the task in final round was even more challenging on paper. The 19th seed Tamara Zidansek was quite a confident pre-match favorite, but Prozorova performed another upset, being rated with an odd 3.22.
It was truly a hell of the match, which started from the stunning opening set, ended up after 90 minutes with the victory of Prozorova, who defeated Zidansek by 13-11 in a tiebreak. The Slovenian has definitely something to regret there, as she wasted 8 setpoints earlier in the set, before the Russian grabbed this set, prevailing in a super long and intense 13th game. Zidansek forced a decider after all, where Prozorova was moving into break lead three times and had a chance to serve for the match in 10th game. Zidansek came back level and had a big chance of turning this match over into her favour, as she created matchpoint during her opponent's serve in 12th game. Prozorova has cleared the danger and moved the settlement into decisive tiebreak, where she won by 10-8 and whole the thing by 7-6(11) 3-6 7-6(8) to earn her biggest career's success. The match against Caroline Wozniacki in main draw's first round is a reward for the heroic performance showed by Prozorova throughout whole the qualies week.
Zvonareva comes back into main draw
Vera Zvonareva comes back into Grand Slam's main draw for the first time since the Australian Open 2022. The 38 years-old veteran has played very well in the qualies, earning the advance with three straight sets wins. The Russian defeated Moyuka Uchijima in the final round, despite being rated with an odd 2.46. Zvonareva won this match by 7-5 6-3 and plays against Yannina Wickmayer in main draw's first round. The Belgian has needed to pull out of her match against Sachia Vickery in final round after just 4 games played. The consolation for this has certainly made up for the disappointment, as Wickmayer became the lucky loser and made it through the main draw eventually.
Crushing form of Wang
Yafan Wang signed up into the qualies after competing mainly in the ITF tournaments this year. The 29 years-old, who was ranked 47th in the world once upon a time, makes this really well though, as she won 56 out of 66 matches played in the ranking period so far. Just before the qualies, Wang has played in the WTA 125 challenger in Stanford, where she won the whole thing despite being a qualifier. The winning habit has paid off in Flushing Meadows, as the Chinese stormed through her part of draw, losing just 10 games on the road. Wang performed the double bagel on Sara Bejlek in first round, defeated Ann Li by 6-2 6-4 in second and Marina Bassols Ribera by 6-2 6-2 in final round. Picking this kind of in-form player was surely demanded by none of the main draw's participants, who where waiting for the opponent from qualies since Thursday. This fate has fell to Caroline Garcia, who comes into New York while struggling with her form really much in recent times. The match between Garcia and Wang will surely be one to watch there with a possible upset not to be written-off for sure.
Rout of the seeds
The Grand Slam qualifying are always super competitive and almost totally unpredictable events in the professional tennis. Same happened this time, as just 12 out of 32 seeds stayed in contetion until the final round and just 4 (!) won their decisive matches. Apart from 3rd seed Yannina Wickmayer, who moved into main draw as a lucky loser, Greet Minnen is the best ranked qualifier who advanced into US Open. The Belgian was seeded as #5 in qualies draw and approached the main draw after defeating Katrina Scott in final round. The 19 years-old American, ranked 320th in WTA list, made really hard conditions for the favorite, as Minnen needed three sets to score the win by 6-3 4-6 6-2. The other three winning seeds are: Yafan Wang (mentioned above, seeded with #15), Laura Siegemund (#10) and Katie Volynets (#25). Siegemund defeated the 18th seed Oceane Dodin in final round, winning by 1-6 6-0 6-3. Katie Volynets is the one of three Americans, who climbed through the qualies field, alongside Fiona Crawley and Sachia Vickery. The 25th seed defeated Erika Andreeva by 6-1 4-6 6-2 in one of the most interesting final round's match-ups on paper.