Sharma into final round of US Open qualifying
Astra Sharma has advanced to the final round in the US Open 2021 women's singles qualifying competition.
Australian Astra Sharma is one win away from earning a US Open main draw spot.
The 25-year-old continued her impressive march in the women’s singles qualifying competition, moving into the final round with a 6-4 7-6(4) victory against world No.225 Susan Bandecchi.
The world No.114 is yet to lose a set this week. Although she had to fight hard in today’s one-hour and 50-minute second-round match, winning just a single point more in total than her 23-year-old Swiss opponent.
Sharma now plays world No.138 Harmony Tan for a place in the main draw. It will be her first career meeting with the 23-year-old Frenchwoman.
The Perth athlete is aiming to qualify at a Grand Slam tournament for the second time in her career – and for the first time since Australian Open 2019.
Unfortunately, Chris O’Connell and Thanasi Kokkinakis’ qualifying quests have both ended in the second round.
Big-serving German Mats Moraing fired 18 aces and did not face a break point in a 7-6(3) 6-1 victory against 27-year-old O’Connell today.
Japan’s Yuichi Sugita recorded a hard-fought 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(4) victory against Kokkinakis. The 25-year-old Australian served 29 aces in the three-hour and six-minute battle, but fell just short against the No.15 seed.
These results leave Sharma as the last remaining Australian in the qualifying competition. She is aiming to join 11 Australians (seven men and four women) already in the main draw for the final Grand Slam tournament of the season.
Aussies in action – US Open
Women’s singles qualifying, second round
 Astra Sharma (AUS) d Susan Bandecchi (SUI) 6-4 7-6(4)
Men’s singles qualifying, second round
Mats Moraing (GER) d  Christopher O’Connell (AUS) 7-6(3) 6-1
 Yuichi Sugita (JPN) d Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(4)
Women’s singles qualifying, final round
 Astra Sharma (AUS) v  Harmony Tan (FRA)