Tears of joy. Scream of excitement. Sheer awe.
Those were among the range of emotions than ran from ecstasy to disbelief for the winners who qualified for their first-ever Grand Slam main draw on the fourth and final day of qualifying at the 2018 US Open on Friday.
In total, 10 players of a possible 18 who were in contention to make the main draw of a major for the first time earned their spot in the US Open, which begins Monday in New York.
Kathinka Von Deichmann of Liechtenstein yelled in delight and pumped both fists. Marie Bouzkova burst into tears behind the baseline, again after a warm embrace at the net, then a third time after reaching her chair. Francesca Di Lorenzo stared toward her coaches, motionless, with a wide smile on her face.
Di Lorenzo booked her place in the main draw with a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 8 seed Mona Barthel of Germany. A few minutes later on the adjacent court, Von Deichmann defeated Martina Trevisan, 6-4, 6-3, to join Di Lorenzo in the 128-player field for the first time in her career.
"It's probably the highlight of my career so far," Di Lorenzo said. "I've been playing full time for about a year now after I left Ohio State, so it's amazing. I'm so excited and really happy about the opportunity. Just a little bit in shock, but a lot of excitement.
"It really means a lot to me, especially for my confidence. I was struggling a little bit before this, having some tough losses and not playing the way I wanted to. Coming into here, I had a couple good weeks of prep, and to get three matches under my belt that were pretty solid on my end, it feels really good and gives me a lot of confidence."
On Court 10, Bouzkova of the Czech Republic edged past Georgina Garcia Perez of Spain, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2, a win that brought her to tears – surely a mixture of joy and relief. Bouzkova received on-court medical treatment immediately after the match, with a trainer applying a bag of ice around her thigh and a second bag of ice wrapped in a towel and draped around her neck.
Other players reaching the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time included Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann, who beat No. 31 seed Sofya Zhuk three days after eliminating top seed Saisai Zheng in the first round, and Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine, who rallied to beat Jaimee Fourlis of Australia, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Lloyd Harris of South Africa beat JC Aragone of the U.S., 6-4, 6-2; Ugo Humbert of France defeated Marc Polmans of Australia, 7-5, 6-2; Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic beat Francoise Abanda of Canada, 6-4, 6-2; and Anna Kalinskaya bested No. 3 seed Madison Brengle of the U.S., 6-3, 7-5.
Canadian teen Felix Auger-Aliassime rolled past Gerald Melzer, dropping just four point in the second set en route to a routine 6-3, 6-0 triumph, and Mitchell Krueger of the U.S. rallied from a set down to dispatch Calvin Hemery of France, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Photos: Qualifying Action - Day 4
While many of those players advancing to the main draw are not household names to the average tennis fan, there was certainly plenty of star power and veterans on display throughout the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center as qualifying came to a close.
Former US Open finalist Vera Zvonareva, US Open quarterfinalist Tommy Robredo and 2014 Wimbledon runner-up Genie Bouchard each came through qualifying to seal their spots in the main draw.
Zvonareva, who also made the Wimbledon final in 2010 in a year that saw her climb to No. 2 in the rankings, won women’s doubles titles in New York (2006) and Melbourne (2012) and also won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
She saved five match points in defeating Lin Zhu, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. Next week, she’ll make her return to the main draw of the US Open for the first time since 2012. She played in the qualifying tournament last year but fell in the second round. Earlier this summer, she lost in the first round of Wimbledon in her first major match in three-and-a-half years.
Elsewhere, Robredo, who reached the last eight at the 2013 US Open – his most recent of seven Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances – outlasted French veteran and No. 19 seed Nicolas Mahut, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, while Bouchard continued her impressive week with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Jamie Loeb.
Patty Schnyder, who turns 40 in December, also progressed with a straight-sets win over American Jessica Pegula.
Schnyder made her US Open debut in 1997 and reached the quarterfinals in New York in both 1998 and 2008. A former world No. 7, the Swiss also reached two French Open quarterfinals and the 2004 Australian Open semifinals. Next week, she will play in the main draw of the US Open for the 15th time in her career and for the first time at any major since Roland Garros in 2011.
Photos: Donald Young, more of men's winners from Qualifying
Photos: Nicole Gibbs, more of women's winners from Qualifying
Kathinka Von Deichmann
Francesca Di Lorenzo