Hijikata and Hunter receive US Open 2023 wildcards
Rinky Hijikata and Storm Hunter have received main-draw singles wildcards to compete at the final Grand Slam tournament of the 2023 season.
Rinky Hijikata and Storm Hunter have been awarded US Open main-draw singles wildcards.
The final Grand Slam tournament of 2023 will begin in New York on Monday 28 August.
World No.165 Hunter is set to compete in the singles main draw at all four Grand Slams in a calendar year for the first time in her career.
The 29-year-old has won 21 of her 32 singles matches so far this season, with highlights including qualifying at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon. She also won her biggest career singles title to date at the ITF 60 tournament in Burnie in February and scored her third career top-30 victory against world No.22 Donna Vekic in Hamburg last month.
Hunter is also the top-ranked Australian in the doubles rankings at world No.4. She has won 33 of her 44 doubles matches this season and reached the semifinals or better in five of her past six tournaments.
Last month, Hunter became the first Australian in 10 years to reach a Wimbledon women’s doubles final.
“I’ve had some amazing memories on the court so far this year like qualifying for back-to-back Slams and making the final at Wimbledon was obviously very, very special,” Hunter said.
“To receive the US Open wildcard is just a really cool opportunity and I’m really thankful to Tennis Australia for believing in me and giving me this amazing opportunity. It’s something that I’m really grateful for and definitely wasn’t expecting.
“For me on the singles court there is still a lot that I feel that I can achieve which I haven’t yet. I think that I have so much more to give and to keep improving on, that’s really exciting and that’s also what’s motivating me.
“When I’ve been so high in doubles, it gives me that belief that why not in singles as well. I’m playing against all the same players and I do think that my level is good in singles so I want to keep pushing and hopefully the next few months I can do that.”
Sydney’s Rinky Hijikata will make his second main-draw appearance at the US Open.
The 22-year-old’s season highlights in singles include reaching his first ATP 250 semifinal at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, a second-round appearance at the ATP 1000 tournament in Indian Wells and claiming his second ATP Challenger title in Burnie.
Hijikata also became a Grand Slam doubles champion alongside Jason Kubler at the Australian Open in January.
“It’s been a year of firsts for me. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster obviously starting at Aussie Open. Even throughout the year getting to play some of the tour events for the first time has been really inspiring and a lot of fun,” said Hijikata, who reached a career-high singles ranking of 110 last month.
“I’m really proud of the way I’ve worked over the last 12 months and the last few years. Ever since I went over to the US to go to college, I’ve really tried to put my head down and really work hard and improve as much as I can. It’s nice seeing it pay off. I still want to keep going up and hopefully this is just the beginning and there is a lot more to come.”
Hijikata recalls playing Rafael Nadal in the first round of the US Open last year as a career highlight.
“Playing Rafa was obviously a huge moment for me and a great experience last year, it’s probably been my favourite match of my career so far,” Hijikata said.
“The atmosphere on Arthur Ashe Stadium was incredible. I really looking forward to just going back, soaking up the atmosphere again, it’s a great tournament to be a part of.”
|US Open 2023
|Main draw||Alex de Minaur
[WC] Rinky Hijikata
[WC] Storm Hunter
|Qualifying draw||James Duckworth
The US Open 2023 singles qualifying competition begins on Tuesday 22 August.
Nick Kyrgios, who reached the men’s singles quarterfinals in New York last year, has withdrawn from the tournament due to injury.
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