Britain will be guaranteed a second player in the main draw of the women’s singles at next week’s US Open after Heather Watson and Katie Swan set up a meeting here on Friday in the final round of qualifying.
Both players enjoyed emphatic victories over Japanese opponents in the second round to set up their first career meeting. Watson crushed Ayano Shimizu 6-1, 6-2, while Swan beat Nao Hibino 6-1, 6-4. Johanna Konta is the only other British woman in the main daw of the singles.
Watson is a former US Open junior champion, loves playing at Flushing Meadows and is based at the IMG Academy in Florida, but has a surprisingly poor record in the senior event here. She has lost all seven of her first-round matches, including three against lower-ranked opponents.
This is the first time Watson has had to play in the qualifying tournament since 2010. The 26-year-old from Guernsey has fallen to No 116 in the world rankings after a difficult year, though her form picked up in her most recent tournament when she reached the final of an ITF event in Vancouver.
Swan, the world No 179, won her first match at Grand Slam level last month at Wimbledon, where the 19-year-old beat Irina Camelia-Begu, the world No 36, before losing to Mihaela Buzernescu in the second round. Swan, who is mentored by Andy Murray, has not played at any of the three other Grand Slam tournaments.
Watson and Swan were the only British players to make it through to the final round of qualifying. Naomi Broady and her brother, Liam, both lost in the second round.
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