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Storm Sanders and Max Purcell awarded U.S. Open Wildcards

Storm Sanders (WA) and Max Purcell (NSW) will make their US Open main draw singles debuts at the end of the month after being awarded wildcards into the final Grand Slam tournament of the year.

Sanders, who recently turned 27, is being rewarded for career-best performances this season.

Four top-100 wins so far in 2021 helped the left-handed Sanders rise to a new career-high singles ranking of No.134 earlier this month. Her season highlights include scoring a first top-30 win to reach the Adelaide International quarterfinals and qualifying at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time at Roland Garros.

“This wildcard is super, super special,” Sanders said.

“It’s not every day you get in the main draw of a Grand Slam. That’s something I definitely don’t take for granted.

“It’s a nice reward for the results I’ve had this year and being away from home and what not, I’ve been working really hard.

“For me not having to play qualifying and to be able to take that emotion away, to already be in the main draw, feel fresh, mentally ready and physically ready I think that’s really important.

“I’m super excited to get to New York to see what damage I can do.”

The U.S. Open will be Sanders’ fifth career appearance in a Grand Slam singles main draw.

Sanders is also enjoying impressive results in doubles and recently became Australia’s top-ranked woman. The Wimbledon semifinalist and Olympic Games quarterfinalist is presently ranked at a career-high No.39.

Purcell like Sanders, is making considerable strides in improving his singles ranking too.

The 23-year-old advanced to his first tour-level singles semifinal at Eastbourne in June and made his top-200 debut after winning an ATP Challenger title in Kazakhstan last month.

Purcell has also scored two top-20 singles wins in the past two months, including a first-round upset of world No.15 Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“It’s another opportunity to play a main draw Grand Slam, I’ve only had one other opportunity to do that before and I’m really excited,” Purcell said after receiving the wildcard.

“It’s more experience at the highest level which I’ve been lacking but dealing with anyway.

“It also helps me with bigger points opportunities to build my ranking towards that goal of top 100.

“I’ve been trusting the work Nathan (Healey) and I have been doing over the last two years, he was really confident at some point I’d get to a higher level and I’d win matches and all that. I’ve been trusting that and it feels great to do it.”

This will be the world No.206’s second appearance in a Grand Slam singles main draw and first since he qualified at Australian Open 2020.

Sanders joins world No.1 Ash Barty, Ajla Tomljanovic and 2011 champion Sam Stosur in the US Open women’s singles main draw. While Purcell will compete alongside Alex de Minaur, John Millman, Jordan Thompson, James Duckworth, Alexei Popyrin and Nick Kyrgios in the men’s singles field in New York.

Main draw action at the US Open begins on 30 August, with qualifying from 24 August.