NEW YORK, NY, USA - The US Open women's qualifying tournament is set to begin Tuesday, and will determine the 16 coveted spots in the main draw, following three rounds of play.
Standing out in the field of 128 is former World No.2 and 2010 US Open runner-up Vera Zvonareva, who won her first WTA match since 2015 last week at the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies. The Russian hadn't played in two years after marrying and giving birth to her first child, and continues her comeback against No.17 seed Han Xinyun with No.6 seed Kateryna Bondarenko looming later.
Bondarenko enjoyed a strong start to 2017, pushing Caroline Wozniacki to three sets at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, but has struggled since and finds herself back in Grand Slam qualifying for the first time since the 2015 US Open, when she started her second career after having a child.
Former doubles No.1 Hsieh Su-Wei is the top seed in Flushing, and is coming off an impressive week at the Western & Southern Open, where she partnered Monica Niculescu to fall just short of the title in Cincinnati against Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-Jan.
Hsieh occupies a potentially tricky draw that features 2016 Mutua Madrid Open semifinalist Louisa Chirico, top doubles threat Lucie Hradecka, and former top 20 star Kaia Kanepi, who is currently working her way back from injury.
Former Wimbledon junior champion Laura Robson made it into the main draw last year after three strong wins in qualifying, and will look to repeat the feat against fiery Russian Alla Kudryavtseva. An accomplished doubles player, Kudryavtseva was in the midst of rebuilding her singles ranking when she tore her ACL at the end of last season.
Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu enjoyed a thunderous debut on the WTA circuit when she reached the quarterfinals of the Citi Open earlier this summer, ousting Kristina Mladenovic en route. Andreescu will aim to qualify for her second straight Grand Slam main-draw starting against Liu Fangzhou, with former Stanford standout and No.9 seed, Kristie Ahn, her projected second round opponent.
Along with Zvonareva, Patty Schnyder's comeback has been the most anticipated of the summer; the former World No.7 won her first WTA match since 2011 at the Ladies Championship Gstaad and will begin her quest to play her first major main draw in over six years against Ysaline Bonaventure.