Western Australia tennis star, Storm Hunter, has bypassed the qualifying rounds of the US Open to go straight through to the main women’s singles draw as a wildcard.
Last year Hunter won her first Grand Slam title in the US Open mixed doubles tournament alongside partner John Peers. They defeated Kirsten Flipkens and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 4-6, 6-4, 10-7.
“To receive the US Open wildcard is just a really cool opportunity and I’m really thankful to Tennis Australia for believing in me and giving me this amazing opportunity. It’s something that I’m really grateful for and definitely wasn’t expecting,” an excited Hunter revealed about her entry into the tournament.
— The First Serve (@TheFirstServeAU) August 16, 2023
It’s been a bumper year for the Aussie who has won 21 of her 32 singles matches so far. Highlights include qualifying at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon and taking her biggest career singles title in February at the ITF 60 tournament in Burnie.
She also made it through to Centre Court at Wimbledon where she played in the women’s doubles finals alongside Belgium’s Elise Mertens. Despite losing the match in two sets to Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strýcová, this made her the first Australian in 10 years to reach a Wimbledon women’s doubles final.
Currently ranked World No. 165, the 29-year-old will complete the 2023 season having competed in the singles main draw at all four Grand Slams for the very first time.
She also scored her third career top-30 victory against World No.22 Donna Vekic in the European Open in Hamburg last month.
Hunter has also dominated the doubles scene and according to Tennis Australia is the top-ranked Australian in the doubles rankings at World No.4. She has won 33 of her 44 doubles matches this year and reached the semifinals or better in five of her past six tournaments.
Reflecting on her incredible run in 2023, Hunter said “I’ve had some amazing memories on the court so far this year like qualifying for back-to-back slams.”
“Making the final at Wimbledon was obviously very, very special,” she added.
Looking forward to testing her mettle on the singles court she adds, “When I’ve been so high in doubles, it gives me that belief that why not in singles as well. I’m playing against all the same players and I do think that my level is good in singles so I want to keep pushing and hopefully the next few months I can do that.”
The qualifying rounds of the US Open are underway with nine Australians vying for their spot in the qualifying competition. These include Kimberley Birrell, Jaimee Fourlis, Olivia Gadecki, Arina Rodionova, Astra Sharma, Priscilla Hon, James Duckworth, Marc Polmans and John Millman.
World No.13 Alex de Minaur is among nine Australians already through to the men’s singles main draw, while 2022 quarterfinalist and world no. 59, Ajla Tomljanovic leads the way for the women. 2022 quarter finalist Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from this year’s US Open citing ongoing injury.
Australian tennis fans can catch all the exciting tennis action on Stan Sport from Monday, 28 August.