Shapovalov qualifies, Smyczek among Americans into U.S. Open main draw

Denis Shapovalov, who recently upset Rafael Nadal on his surprising way to the Rogers Cup semifinals in Montreal, successfully qualified for the U.S. Open on Friday afternoon. Shapovalov recovered from a set deficit to defeat Jan Satral 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-3 in exactly two hours.

The 18-year-old Canadian is already up to 69th in the world, but he had to qualify because his ranking was not high enough at the entry deadline for the season’s final major. Qualifiers were placed in the main draw on Friday evening and Shapovalov has an intriguing opener on his plate, as he is set to face Daniil Medvedev of Russia. Medvedev is just one year older than Shapovalov at 21 and he has already climbed to No. 53 in the rankings.

Other qualifiers will be unconcerned with whom they will face on either Monday or Tuesday. Instead, they must be thrilled simply to be there. A whopping 10 men who qualified will be making their U.S. Open main-draw debuts. Half of those 10 are in the field of 128 at a slam for the first time ever. That list includes Darian King of Barbados, Vaclav Safranek of the Ukraine, Maximilian Marterer of Germany, Evan King of the United States, and the United States’ J.C. Aragone. King (Michigan) and Aragone (Virginia) are former colleges stars.

Shapovalov and the aforementioned five are joined in the field of 128 by Mikhail Kukushkin, J.P. Smith, Stefano Travaglia, Nicolas Mahut, Adrian Menendez-Maceiras, Tim Smyczek, Cameron Norrie, Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Radu Albot, and Vincent Millot.

Aragone beat Akira Santillan 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Smyczek, no stranger to appearances the main draws of majors, made quick 6-3, 6-4 work of Peter Polansky. An American was guaranteed success when Michigan’s King face Michael Mmoh, with the former getting the best of it 6-3, 6-3.

Speaking of all-American affairs, Smyczek will go up against fellow American Sam Querrey on Tuesday. Querrey recently advanced to the Wimbledon semis before falling to Marin Cilic in four sets. King also has a tough first-rounder on his hands in the form of French Open quarterfinalist Pablo Carreno Busta. If healthy, Kevin Anderson will be an extremely difficult test for Aragone.

12 Comments on Shapovalov qualifies, Smyczek among Americans into U.S. Open main draw

  1. I am so looking forward to see how Shapovalov does. He is only 18 though so it will be at least a few years before he is consistent but still very exciting times.

    • Shapovalov lowkey could make the second week. If he did his path would be Medvedev, Tsonga, then Haase/Johnson/Edmund. Or he could lose round one. It’s a tough section to call with lots of opportunity for unseeded guys.

    • Why? He’s an asshole from what I’ve seen. His win over Federer was remarkable, but it was a fluke in his career over a seriously slumping Federer. He would lose 3,2, and 1 to any Big 4 player nowadays…

    • Stakhovsky losing to Safranek was amazing. Not only is Safranek an amazing surprise story but Stakhovsky is one of the worst guys on tour. He’s homophobic and sexist. Not a great combination.

  2. Er, Ricky? How is Medvedev “just one year older than Shapovalov” if he’s 21 and Shapo is 18? Funny math?

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