Leylah Fernandez leads further American heroics at US Open qualifying

Caroline Wozniacki powers into top 10 and Serena Williams makes comfortable Wimbledon start

Leylah Fernandez of the USA beats Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in the US Open qualifying match ( Getty Images)

Leylah Fernandez of the USA defeated Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine 7-6(4) 6-3 in the women’s US Open qualifying match to book her place in the main draw at Flushing Meadows. Fernandez secured a stunning win in the second set and added another result to a scrappy qualifying.

This was her first Tour-level match after more than two years on the developmental ITF level.

“Wow, it’s really crazy,” Fernandez said. “It’s amazing. It’s surreal and I’m still kind of in shock. It’s just my second ITF tournament and to come here to Queens, that’s like the biggest tournament in the world, it’s not really a match to lose. But I just tried to be as aggressive as I could and played how I can.”

Fernandez became the only American qualifier in the 128-player main draw of a Grand Slam event, the seventh woman to do so and the first since Elena Vesnina at Wimbledon in 2011.

Elsewhere, Caroline Wozniacki moved into the world’s top 10 for the first time since 2012 after ending Barbora Strycova’s Australian Open title defence with a 7-6(5) 6-1 win in Birmingham. The Australian Open champion moved above Swiss player Belinda Bencic and former world No1 Venus Williams.

Williams, who suffered an embarrassing first-round defeat in Melbourne, continued her renaissance by beating Italian Camila Giorgi 6-4, 6-2.

Venus Williams, who lost to Johanna Konta in the second round of the Australian Open, showed no ill effects from a virus that forced her to pull out of the doubles with sister Serena on the opening day of Wimbledon on Monday.

Britain’s Kyle Edmund managed to sneak through two tough qualifying matches on Monday to reach the men’s US Open main draw for the first time. But the second-round opponent the Yorkshireman faces is not a top-10 player after Nick Kyrgios retired from their first-round clash with an injury.

Holland’s Robin Haase also crashed out after seeing his first-round qualifying match with world No23 Mischa Zverev end 7-6(4) 3-6 6-4 6-4.

Unseeded Briton Aljaz Bedene, Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis and Canada’s Vasek Pospisil will have only five days to decide their Wimbledon opponents after the draw was made on Tuesday.

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