Former US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt will make his 15th and final appearance in Flushing Meadows next month as one of eight players awarded a wild card into the men’s singles main draw.
The 34-year-old Australian, who won the US Open in 2001 and reached the final in 2004, will join Americans Jared Donaldson, Bjorn Fratangelo, Ryan Harrison, Austin Krajicek, Ryan Shane and Frances Tiafoe plus Pierre-Hughes Herbert of France in the main draw, which begins on Aug. 31.
Hewitt's inclusion means there will be six former US Open champions in the main draw. He joins five-time winner Roger Federer, two-time champion Rafael Nadal, 2011 winner Novak Djokovic, 2012 titlist Andy Murray and defending champion Marin Cilic.
Ranked No. 162 in the world, Hewitt, who announced he will retire next year, received his wild card from the USTA through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia, which will grant an American a wild card into the 2016 Australian Open, Hewitt's final tournament. Herbert, 24, received his wild card through a similar agreement with the French Tennis Federation.
Teenagers Donaldson, 18, and 2015 USTA Boys’ 18s national champion Tiafoe, 17, are the youngest of the U.S. men to gain entry into the main draw. They will join 22-year-old Fratangelo, who will make his Grand Slam main draw debut after winning the USTA Pro Circuit’s US Open Wild Card Challenge, and world No. 126 Harrison, who competed for the U.S. in the 2012 Olympics and reached a career-high No. 43 in the world that summer.
Florida native Krajieck, 25, and 2015 NCAA singles champion Shane, 21, round out the men’s main-draw wild cards.
Each of the world’s top 99-ranked men received direct entry into the US Open earlier this summer. Five other players used their protected ranking for entry into the 128-player field, and the final 16 spots will be determined at the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held the week before the main draw begins.
In addition to the eight wild cards, the USTA also announced the eight men who have been awarded wild-card entries into the US Open Qualifying Tournament. Players receiving US Open qualifying wild cards are current world junior No. 1 and 2015 French Open boys’ finalist Taylor Fritz; 2015 USTA Boys’ 18s runner-up and 2014 Wimbledon and Australian Open boys’ finalist Stefan Kozlov; former Top 5 world-ranked junior Mitchell Krueger; 2014 NCAA singles champion and 2014 American Collegiate Invitational winner Marcos Giron; world No. 3 junior Michael Mmoh; 2015 Wimbledon boys’ champion Reilly Opelka; 2015 French Open boys’ champion Tommy Paul; and 2015 NCAA singles finalist and 2014 USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion Noah Rubin. A ninth qualifying wild card is reserved for the winner of the 2015 US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship, to be held later this month in New Haven, Conn.
The 2015 US Open runs from Monday, Aug. 31, to Sunday, Sept. 13. The US Open Qualifying Tournament is Tuesday, Aug. 25, to Friday, Aug. 28.