Seven Aussies set for US Open qualifying
Sam Groth, Matt Barton, Luke Saville, John-Patrick Smith, Ben Mitchell, Andrew Whittington and Arina Rodionova will this week battle for a place in the US Open main draw.
Australia has six men shooting for a main-draw berth at the US Open in this week’s qualifying event, and only one has avoided a seed in the opening round.
Luke Saville will take on American wildcard Christian Harrison in his first match, the Aussie looking to qualify at his second straight Grand Slam event after doing so at Wimbledon.
Yet the others have arguably tougher match-ups to start.
Sam Groth, who has slipped from No.60 at the start of the season to outside the top 200, will attempt to bounce back when he takes on 15th seed Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia.
Matt Barton, who like Saville qualified at Wimbledon, has a difficult match-up against No.5 seed Nikoloz Baliashvili, while Ben Mitchell, coming off a swing of Challenger events in the United States, has drawn 21st seed Albert Montanes.
John-Patrick Smith qualified for last year’s US Open main draw and will attempt to repeat the feat in 2016; he opens against German Tobias Kamke, the No.22 seed.
In-form Andrew Whittington, who has won 24 of his past 28 matches to crack the top 200, faces Brazilian Joao Souza, seeded 12th.
In the women’s draw, Arina Rodionova has also drawn a Brazilian opponent – she takes on Paula Cristina Goncalves.
Rodionova has landed in a segment of the draw led by No.8 seed Marina Erakovic and 19th seed Xinyun Han.