American doubles specialist Bethanie Mattek-Sands added an Olympic gold medal to four career Grand Slam doubles titles in Rio last weekend. Now her attention will shift to individual glory.
Mattek-Sands, who won the mixed doubles gold medal with countryman Jack Sock in Rio, is one of seven players to receive a wild card into the main draw of this month’s US Open.
The 31-year-old reached the third round of the women's singles draw last summer for her career-best finish in New York. She has also been to the fourth round of Wimbledon (2008) and the French Open (2013) but is best known for winning the Australian Open and French Open women’s doubles titles with Lucie Safarova last year.
The USTA also gave main-draw wild cards to USTA Girls’ 18s national champion Kayla Day and USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge winner Sofia Kenin.
Also receiving a wild card into the main draw is world No. 88 Vania King, who has climbed into the Top 100 on the back of some strong results this summer but who was originally ranked below the cutoff for direct entry when the field was selected last month. King made the final in Nanchang two week ago and reached the round of 32 in Montreal and the semifinals in Bucharest in her most recent three tournaments, giving her plenty of momentum coming into Flushing.
Unranked 22-year-old collegiate standout Danielle Collins, this year's NCAA singles champion, and world No. 102 Lauren Davis also received wild cards into the main draw. Virginie Razzano, ranked No. 165, is awarded a wild card into the main draw through a reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation. A final wild card will be given to an Australian player through a similar agreement with Tennis Australia.
In addition to those players earning wild cards into the main draw, the USTA announced eight of the nine women who will receive wild cards into this year's qualifying tournament.
The most notable selections are former US Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin, former Wimbledon girls' champion Laura Robson of Great Britain and 14-year-old French Open girls’ runner-up Amanda Anisimova of the U.S.
Once ranked as high as No. 31, Oudin has suffered from a muscle-damaging condition in her arms caused by over-training and dehydration, has undergone two heart procedures and had a growth removed from her eye. She reached the final round of qualifying last year and is still best remembered for her remarkable run in New York as a 17-year-old in 2009, when she defeated Elena Dementieva and Maria Sharapova en route to the quarterfinals. Now ranked No. 281 in the world, Oudin will be trying to make the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time since 2013.
Robson, meanwhile, has missed the best part of two years following wrist surgery, but she won her first title since returning from injury last week at a USTA Pro Circuit event in Landisville, Pa. The 22-year-old Robson, ranked No. 283, reached the fourth round of the US Open in 2012 but has not been past the first round of a major since she made the third round in New York in 2013.
Also receiving qualifying wild cards are USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships runner-up Nicole Frenkel and 2015 NCAA champion and current world No. 235 Jamie Loeb, who won the inaugural American Collegiate Invitational at the US Open two years ago.
Raveena Kingsley, ranked 286th, Francesca Di Lorenzo, ranked No. 374, and Ellie Halbauer, ranked No. 404, also received qualifying wild cards.
The final qualifying wild card will be awarded to the winner of the US Open National Playoffs, which will wrap up this weekend at the Connecticut Open in New Haven, Conn.
The qualifying tournament for the US Open begins next Tuesday, Aug. 23, and is free to the public.