New York, Aug 18 (IANS) Following an extended recovery from a variety of injuries, 2020 US Open men’s singles champion Dominic Thiem will return to Queens as a wild card at this year’s fourth Grand Slam.
A number of high-profile American players also earned wild cards into the singles main draw. The list ranges from 34-year-old Sam Querrey, a former world No. 11 who reached the tournament’s quarterfinals in 2017, to 16-year-old Learner Tien, a junior who won the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championship on Monday.
Other U.S. men include 20-year-old Emilio Nava, who reached the boys’ singles finals at the 2019 Australian and US Opens; 23-year-old J.J. Wolf, who recently reached a personal-best singles ranking of No. 83; and 19-year-old Ben Shelton, who won the NCAA singles title in May.
France’s Ugo Humbert and Australia’s Rinky Hijikata also clinched wild cards, based on reciprocal agreements between the USTA, the FFT and Tennis Australia, respectively.
Austria’s 28-year-old Thiem landed one of the biggest-ever comebacks at a US Open final in 2020, down two sets to love against Germany’s Alexander Zverev. Shortly after claiming his first Grand Slam title in Queens, the former world No. 3 struggled through knee and wrist problems that kept him off the tour for nearly 14 months. He returned to winning form this July, reaching the quarterfinals of the Sweden Open and the semifinals of the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad. Currently, Thiem is ranked world No. 228 in singles.
The 2022 US Open begins August 29 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, while qualifying rounds begin the 23rd and continue through the 26th. American men who received wild cards into the qualifying tournament include, Murphy Cassone, 19, named the ITA’s national Rookie of the Year as an Arizona State freshman, Oliver Crawford, 23, two-time singles All-American at the University of Florida, Martin Damm, 18, part of the youngest-ever doubles team to win a match at the US Open in 2019, and Brandon Holt, 24, a three-time singles All-American at USC.