NEW YORK: Seven-time major champion Venus Williams and 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin lead the list of the eight women who have received wild cards into the 2022 US Open women's singles main draw, the tournament organisers announced on Wednesday.
Venus and Sofia will be joined by fellow Americans CoCo Vandeweghe, Elizabeth Mandlik, Peyton Stearns and Eleana Yu, as well as Australia's Jaimee Fourlis and France's Harmony Tan as part of reciprocal wild card agreements with Tennis Australia and the French tennis federation.
The 42-year-old Williams will be making her 23rd US Open main draw appearance. The 2000 and 2001 US Open singles champion missed last year's tournament with injury, and was sidelined for nearly a year before returning to play mixed doubles at Wimbledon this June.
She's played a full slate of singles matches this summer at the Citi Open in Washington, DC, the National Bank Open in Toronto, and the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.
On the other hand, Kenin, the most recent American woman to win a Grand Slam singles title with her triumph at the 2020 Australian Open, is also in the midst of a return from injury. The 23-year-old missed four months this year with an ankle injury and made her own comeback at the Citi Open.
Meanwhile, 2018 US Open doubles champion Vandeweghe recently captured her biggest title in six years with a sweep of the singles and doubles events at the WTA 125 Series event in Concord, Mass, the WTA's equivalent of ATP Challenger tournaments.
The former world No 9 has struggled with injuries and health issues for the better part of four seasons, but victory in Concord pushed her up nearly 70 spots in the WTA singles rankings this week to No 125.
The likes of Mandlik, Stearns and Yu will all be making their Grand Slam main-draw debuts after earning their wild cards through competition.
Mandlik won the US Open Wild Card Challenge, which rewards the American man and woman who earns the most points at summer hard-court with a US Open wild card while Stearns, from Mason, Ohio, won the 2022 NCAA singles titles to cap her sophomore season at the University of Texas.
The 17-year-old Yu, also from Ohio, is the USTA Girls' 18s national champion.
The 2022 US Open will be played from August 29-September 11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York.