The final Grand Slam of the year was also the final opportunity for a host of rising and veteran fringe ATP players to make a significant payout and show their tennis is improving. Here is your look at the men’s US Open qualifiers.
Young Guns Ruud, Hurkacz, Harris, and Auger Aliassime Look to Leave Their Mark
19 year old Norwegian Casper Ruud is making his US Open main draw debut against Guido Pella, Ruud didn’t drop a set in qualifying and has been competitive at the tour and slam level this year. It appears likely Ruud will be able to embrace a full time ATP schedule in 2019.
Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz (21) won his first slam main draw match at the French Open this year and will now debut in the US Open main draw after qualifying with three routine wins. Hurkacz takes on fellow qualifier Stefano Travaglia in round 1 and appears to have the game to be a top 50 player soon enough.
Lloyd Harris (21) of South Africa is making his Grand Slam main draw debut after years of success on the futures and challenger tour. Harris didn’t drop a set in qualifying and is coming close to making his ATP breakthrough. Gilles Simon, his first round opponent, is struggling and he could win that contest.
Felix Auger Aliassime, a teenage Canadian, is the biggest name to qualify, Auger Aliassime had a solid Rogers Cup at home and is now making his US Open main draw debut. FAA didn’t drop a set in qualifying and he’ll have a fair shot against countryman Denis Shapovalov in round 1.
Veterans Robredo, Granollers, and Berlocq Into Main Draw
It wasn’t just young guns who qualified for the US Open, former quarterfinalist Tommy Robredo (36), is back in a main draw at the top level for the first time this season. Robredo beat fellow veteran Nicolas Mahut in three sets to qualify in the final round of qualifying and drew young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas in round 1. His Spanish countryman Marcel Granollers (32) previously reached the second week at the US Open and qualified without dropping a set this time. Granollers faces Joao Sousa in a winnable round 1 contest.
Carlos Berlocq (35) has never made it past the US Open second round and he’s unlikely to do so this time, after the grinder qualified after dropping sets in his first two qualifying matches, he drew big server Milos Raonic in round 1.
Young and Krueger Highlight American Qualifiers
Three American men qualified for the main draw, veteran Donald Young is most notable among them. Young has endured a poor season but he’s previously made the US Open 4th round and he battled into the main draw with two of his three wins coming in three sets. Young faces Juan Martin Del Potro in round 1.
Mitchell Krueger is making his Grand Slam main draw debut, Krueger has limited ATP experience but he’s been a stalwart of the challenger tour and could get past Roberto Carballes Baena in round 1.
The University of Virginia’s Collin Altamirano is taking part in the US Open Main Draw after previously earning a Wild Card in 2013. Altamirano didn’t drop a set in qualifying and this will be his first tour level match post-college. Fellow qualifier Ugo Humbert is his round 1 opponent, both players are in great form recently below the tour level.
Europeans and Argentina’s Bagnis Complete Qualifiers
20 year old Ugo Humbert is perhaps the next big thing in French tennis, Humbert has never played at the ATP level but he qualified with just one set dropped and has a good shot against Collin Altamirano, he also just won a challenger title on hard courts.
Germany’s Yannick Maden has made big strides this season to try to reach the tour level. Maden didn’t drop a set in qualifying and upset Thanasi Kokkinakis to reach his second career Grand Slam main draw, he also made the Wimbledon main draw. Maden will be an underdog against Lucas Pouille in round 1.
Stefano Travaglia won his round 1 match at the 2017 US Open and after a solid season below the tour level and just one set dropped in qualifying, he’ll try to get past Hubert Hurkacz in round 1.
Austria’s Dennis Novak has reached the main draw at three of the four slams this year, Novak faces Benoit Paire in round 1 after dominating his qualifying draw without dropping a set. Novak is another player nearing an ATP main draw breakthrough.
Facundo Bagnis dropped just one set in qualifying and could upset Gael Monfils in round 1, it’s Bagnis third appearance in the US Open Main Draw and he’s hoping it’ll be the first time he gets a main draw win in New York.
Sonego and Polansky In the Draw as Lucky Losers
Despite losing in the final round of qualifying 23 year old Lorenzo Sonego is the second Italian into the main draw via qualifying. Sonego has reached the main draw of three of four slams this year and draws the retiring Gilles Muller in round 1.
Peter Polansky became the first player in ATP history to reach all four slam main draws as a lucky loser in the same year. The veteran Polansky as a career journeyman who will look to challenge top 10 player Alexander Zverev in the opening round. Polansky has just one previous main draw win at the US Open, it’s also his only slam main draw win.