New York, USA, 25 August 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Astra Sharma has made a winning start to her US Open 2021 qualifying campaign.

The 25-year-old from Perth scored her first ever singles win at Flushing Meadows today, overcoming Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova 7-5 7-6(5).

The first-round battle lasted one hour and 43 minutes – with No.10-seeded Sharma proving clutch under pressure, saving six of the seven break points she faced on serve.

The world No.114 will next face Switzerland’s Susan Bandecchi, a 23-year-old ranked No.225, in the second round.

Sharma was the sole Australian winner on day one of US Open qualifying.

Former world No.23 and US Open 2018 quarterfinalist Lesia Tsurenko edged out Ellen Perez 7-5 7-6(2) in a two-hour encounter, while Slovakian Rebecca Sramkova finished strongly to record a 6-4 6-0 win against Arina Rodionova.

Monica Niculescu defeated No.28 seed Maddison Inglis in an intense two-hour and 52-minute battle, with the former top 30-ranked Romanian prevailing 6-4 6-7(5) 6-2.

In men’s singles action, Italian Federico Gaio eliminated Australia’s Matt Ebden in three sets.

To qualify and earn a main draw spot, players need to win three qualifying matches this week. If they do, they will join the 11 Australians (seven men and four women) already in the main draw fields for the final Grand Slam tournament of the season.

> PREVIEW: Aussie men ready for US Open qualifying 

> PREVIEW: Aussie women set for qualifying challenge

Aussies in action – US Open

Women’s singles qualifying, first round
[10] Astra Sharma (AUS) d Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) 7-5 7-6(5)
Monica Niculescu (ROU) d [28] Maddison Inglis (AUS) 6-4 6-7(5) 6-2
Rebecca Sramkova (SVK) d Arina Rodionova (AUS) 6-4 6-0
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) d Ellen Perez (AUS) 7-5 7-6(2)

Men’s singles qualifying, first round
Federico Gaio (ITA) d Matthew Ebden (AUS) 6-4 3-6 6-1

Women’s singles qualifying, first round
Lizette Cabrera (AUS)
v [20] Kamilla Rakhimova (RUS)
Jaimee Fourlis (AUS) v Usue Maitane Arconada (USA)

Women’s singles qualifying, second round
[10] Astra Sharma (AUS) v Susan Bandecchi (SUI)

Men’s singles qualifying, first round
[10] Christopher O’Connell (AUS) v Altug Celikbilek (TUR)
[26] Marc Polmans (AUS) v Ernests Gulbis (LAT)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v Bjorn Fratangelo (USA)