Tennis

Inglis advances in US Open 2022 qualifying

Three Australian women – Maddison Inglis, Kimberly Birrell and Astra Sharma – have scored first-round qualifying wins at the US Open.

New York, USA, 24 August 2022 | Matthew Trollope and Leigh Rogers

Maddison Inglis recovered from a perilous position to progress to the second round of US Open 2022 qualifying.

The Australian trailed 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 three hours of play, and was cheered 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,” she 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.”

Inglis came through three rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw at Wimbledon two months ago.

After a break, she resumed her season at the recent WTA 125K tournament in Vancouver, where she reached the quarterfinals.

The world No.135 seemed to carry that confidence into today’s encounter, despite multiple momentum swings testing her resolve.

“I haven’t played much since Wimbledon, spent a little bit of time at home not very well, so it’s good to be back,” said Inglis, who served for the match at 5-3 in the third set.

“Had a couple of good matches and wins in Vancouver, and then to come through a match like that is really important, I think.

“A win’s a win, and always good to start a Grand Slam with a win. So I’m excited.”

Earlier today, fellow Aussies Aleksandar Vukic, Marc Polmans and Seone Mendez fell at the first hurdle.

Both playing for the first time in several months, Vukic bowed out 7-5 6-4 to American wildcard Zachary Svajda before Polmans exited 6-4 7-6(2) to Italian Francesco Passaro. While injury impacted Mendez in her first-round match against France’s Clara Burel, retiring mid-way through the second set.

There was better news for Kimberly Birrell, who scored a 6-4 6-2 win against American Emina Bektas. Competing at the US Open for the first time, the 24-year-old powered to victory in 69 minutes.

Astra 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 fifth match point.

A further three Australian contenders – Max Purcell, Priscilla Hon and Lizette Cabrera – are scheduled to play their first-round qualifying matches tomorrow.

> VIEW: US Open 2022 qualifying competition – day two schedule

Aussies in action – US Open

RESULTS
Women’s qualifying singles, first round
[31] Maddison Inglis (AUS) d Ekaterine Gorgodze (GEO) 7-5 3-6 7-6(8)
Kimberly Birrell (AUS) d Emina Bektas (USA) 6-4 6-2
Astra Sharma (AUS) d Jessika Ponchet (FRA) 1-6 6-1 7-6(10)
[28] Clara Burel (FRA) d Seone Mendez (AUS) 6-2 3-1 ret.

Men’s qualifying singles, first round
[WC] Zachary Svadja (USA) d [28] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) 7-5 6-4
Francesco Passaro (ITA) d Marc Polmans (AUS) 6-4 7-6(2)

COMING UP
Women’s qualifying singles, first round
Priscilla Hon (AUS)
v Asia Muhammad (USA)
Lizette Cabrera (AUS) v [15] Olga Danilovic (SRB)

Women’s qualifying singles, second round
[31] Maddison Inglis (AUS) v [WC] Valerie Glozman (USA)
Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v [5] Viktorija Golubic (SUI)
Astra Sharma (AUS) v [30] Reka Luca Jani (HUN)

> VIEW: US Open 2022 women’s qualifying singles draw

Men’s qualifying singles, first round
Max Purcell (AUS) v Nikola Milojevic (SRB)

> VIEW: US Open 2022 men’s qualifying singles draw

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