Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
Amazing qualifier Camila Giorgi makes a late run at the 2013 U.S. Open.
This is the dawning of the age of the qualifier.
That may not actually be true, but the 2013 U.S. Open put on full display just how much parity there is now in the men's and women's games.
For those fans and naysayers who claim the game has become predictable because of the fact that the top seeds have made it to yet another championship, the easy answer is, "Watch the first week of the tournament!"
Not only is that the easy answer, it is the right one.
Eighteen players who came to New York hoping to somehow make it to the main draw went home very, very happy. It is a struggle just to come through the qualifying tournament...that's right, the qualifying rounds represent their very own tournament that has to be won even before a player begins to think of the "actual" tournament.
For example, Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan, the No. 172 player in the world, had to win three matches before he won two in the main draw. His reward was to face the No. 4 player, David Ferrer.
Camila Giorgi, a player with so little professional experience that her U.S. Open profile read "N/A" after the words "turned pro," made it to the fourth round.
Because they all deserve mention, the other qualifiers advancing in this year's U.S. Open were Peter Gojowczyk, Donald Young, Somdev Devvarman, Ivo Karlovic, Stephane Robert, Maximo Gonzalez, Frank Dancevic, Daniel Evans and Rogerio Dutra Silva.
The other women were Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, Coco Vandeweghe, Kurumi Nara, Michelle Larcher De Brito, Julia Glushko, Victoria Duval and Ajla Tomljanovic.
Qualifiers like these possess not only talent, but drive as well. They will be seen in Australia 2014.