Dudi Sela will be optimistic of claiming his first Grand Slam win in two years
next week after being drawn on Thursday to face Russian Andrey Kuznetsov in the
first round of the US Open.
The 28-year-old Israeli, ranked No. 77 in the
world, failed to receive direct entry to the main draw of the past two majors
due to his lowly ranking. However, he climbed back into the world’s top 80 last
month for the first time since last May thanks to his success on the Challenger
Should Sela claim his first win in a Grand Slam main draw since
the 2011 US Open, he will likely next face world No. 21 Janko
Amir Weintraub and Julia Glushko are hoping to join Sela in
the main draw, with both playing in the second round of the qualifiers in New
York late Thursday night.
Weintraub (188) faced Oleksandr Nedovyesov
(156) while Glushko (128) played Stephanie Dubois (155).
For the first
time in more than eight years, Shahar Pe’er failed to reach the main draw of two
consecutive Grand Slam tournaments after suffering a shock exit in the first
round of the US Open qualifiers on Tuesday.
Pe’er, who was seeded No. 1
in the qualifiers as the world No. 80, entered the tournament on the back of her
first WTA Tour title in four years, but dropped to a dejecting 6-4, 7-6 (3) to
Ksenia Pervak (156) in the opening round.
Meanwhile, third-seeded Russian
Maria Sharapova has pulled out of next week’s US Open due to a shoulder injury,
tournament organizers said on Wednesday.
The four-time grand slam winner,
who triumphed at Flushing Meadows in 2006, fired coach Jimmy Connors last week
after just one match together.
The 26-year-old world No. 3, who is
suffering from inflammation in her right shoulder, said withdrawing from the
year’s final grand slam was “a really tough decision to make”.
done everything I could since Wimbledon to get myself ready but it just wasn’t
enough time,” she said in statement on her Facebook page.
“I have done
many tests, received several opinions and it all comes down to taking the proper
amount of time to heal my shoulder injury properly.
“It’s certainly not
an easy decision to make ahead of one of my favorite tournaments, but I know
it’s the right one that will get me back on the courts soon.
“I plan on
taking the next few weeks off, receiving proper treatment and
Sharapova lost to 20-year-old American Sloane Stephens
in the second round of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati last week in
her only match since a secondround exit at Wimbledon.
Her absence from
Flushing Meadows at least puts to rest widely reported plans she had to legally
change her name for the US Open in a publicity stunt for her candy
Defending champion Serena Williams is the top seed for the US
Open at Flushing Meadows in New York, ahead of Belarusian Victoria Azarenka and
Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, who now moves up to third.
contributed to this report.