September 25, 2020

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Two more US Open WDs as Baptiste gets in

Baptiste

Baptiste in action at the US Open junior event in 2018. She will get a wild card into the main draw of the 2020 grown-up edition. (Stephanie Myles/Opencourt.ca)

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It’s still early, but two more players have pulled out of the US Open on the women’s side.

And that means that American Hailey Baptiste will get a chance at the main draw with a wild card.

Czech veteran Barbora Strycova is out. As well, another Chinese player joins nearly all of her countrywomen in opting not to play: 19-year-old Xiyu Wang, ranked No. 108.

Wang qualified for (so far) her only Grand Slam main draw at the US Open a year ago, losing to Kirsten Flipkens in the first round in three sets.

Strycova’s decision not to come to the U.S. (she had already withdrawn from Cincinnati) means that her doubles partner, Hsieh Su-Wei – the No. 1 doubles player in the world – will be up for bids.

US wild card list in flux

The two withdrawals mean that American Ann Li and Aussie Priscilla Hon are now straight into the main draw.

And that means that Li will no longer need the wild card she was awarded last week.

So that will go to the first alternate, Baptiste. The 18-year-old is currently No. 234 in the rankings.

A year ago at the Citi Open, which is right down the street from the house she grew up in, Baptiste made a splash by upsetting Madison Keys in the first round.

The USTA’s second listed alternate on the women’s side is Claire Liu, who is ranked all the way down at … No. 236.

And she may well get her shot.

The next two players into the main draw after withdrawals are Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic, and Caroline Dolehide of the U.S.

Dolehide currently has a wild card.

All of that leaves some experienced players in limbo who, by ranking at least, deserved a shot at those precious passes. You’re either democratic – or you’re transparent and you give players who desperately need the opportunity – and the money – some indication of why they were passed over.

Allie Kiick (No. 161), Varvara Lepchenko (No. 179, but a former top-20 player), Asia Muhammad (No. 192), Robin Anderson (No. 197) and Danielle Lao (No. 204) all were bypassed in favour of Liu on the list.