It was make-or-break day on Friday, August 23, Day 4 of the U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament. Thirty-two men and 32 women battled on the bubble for the final 17 spots in their respective draws (one additional spot in each draw is available as a result of Mardy Fish and Maria Sharapova withdrawing).
A spot in the main draw would also guarantee a first-round U.S. Open check for $23,000 which is no small sum for many of these up-and-comers who have travel and coaching expenses.
The cold front which moved into the New York area on Thursday led to challenging wind conditions Friday, and many of the players struggled not only with their nerves, but also with wind gusts which threw off ball tosses and disguised spins and depth. Players committed more than their usual share of double faults and unforced errors.
Here is a look at three victorious qualifiers who stood out from the pack and are poised to do some damage in the main draw.