The 2016 U.S. Open doesn't officially begin until August 29, but a group of players looking to make their mark on New York took to the courts on Wednesday for Day 2 of the qualifying matches.
These are not the players who will generate a lot of buzz when the draw is announced on Friday, but many of them will be taking part in the biggest tournament of their lives by making it through the qualifiers.
Who knows, one of the names on the list of winners Thursday could end up being the next Jan Kodes, who defeated No. 1 seed John Newcombe in the first round 45 years ago.
Here are the results from Wednesday's U.S. Open qualifying matches:
|2016 U.S. Open Qualifying Results - August 22, 2016|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Joao Souza def. Andrew Whittington||6-4, 6-4|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Alison Van Uytvanck def. Alla Kudryavtseva||6-2, 2-6, 6-3|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Enrique Lopez-Perez def. Marco Trungelliti||6-3, 3-6, 6-1|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Yuxuan Zhang def. Sophie Chang||6-3, 7-6|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Thiemo de Bakker def. Dennis Novak||6-1, 6-3|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Tereza Smitkova def. Jamie Loeb||2-6, 6-3, 6-3|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Grace Min def. Julia Boserup||6-4, 6-2|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Taylor Townsend def. Elizaveta Kulichkova||6-4, 6-4|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Amir Weintraub def. Daniel Nguyen||6-3, 6-2|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Ipek Soylu def. Nicole Frenkel||6-4, 6-1|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Sekou Bangoura def. Gonzalo Lama||6-2, 6-1|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Miyu Kato def. Marina Melnikova||7-6, 6-2|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Yuichi Sugita def. Alexandre Sidorenko||6-2, 6-3|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Dmitry Popko def. Hiroki Moriya||6-3, 6-4|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Go Soeda def. Marius Copil||7-6, 6-3|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Tatjana Maria def. Jesika Maleckova||6-4, 3-6, 6-2|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Ying-Ying Duan def. Ons Jabeur||5-7, 6-1, 6-4|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Lucie Hradecka def. Kai-Chen Chang||7-5, 4-6, 7-5|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Vincent Millot def. Mathias Bourgue||3-6, 6-3, 6-2|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Axel Michon def. Constant Lestienne||7-6, 6-3|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Matthias Bachinger def. Pedro Sousa||6-2, 6-3|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Karen Khachanov def. Mirza Basic||6-4, 6-4|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Arina Rodionova def. Paula Cristina Goncalves||7-6, 7-5|
|Women's Qualfifying - Singles||Paula Kania def. Sherazad Reix||6-1, 6-2|
|Women's Qualfifying - Singles||Antonia Lottner def. Amra Sadikovic||6-2, 6-1|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Isabella Shinikova def. Lesley Kerkhove||6-3, 6-1|
|Women's Qualfifying - Singles||Usue Maitane Arconada def. Ya-Hsuan Lee||3-6, 6-3, 6-3|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Christian Harrison def. Luke Saville||4-6, 6-0, 7-5|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Jennifer Brady def. Anastasia Pivovarova||1-6, 6-3, 7-6|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Jared Donaldson def. Eduardo Struvay||6-3, 6-4|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Michael Berrer def. Stefan Kozlov||2-6, 7-6, 6-2|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Catherine Bellis def. Lina Gjorcheska||6-0, 6-2|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Tobias Kamke def. John-Patrick Smith||6-2, 7-5|
|Women's Qualfifying - Singles||Barbara Haas def. Andreea Mitu||7-6, 6-4|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Mischa Zverev def. Andrey Golubev||6-3, 3-6, 6-1|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Noah Rubin def. Yan Bai||3-0 (Ret.)|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Blaz Kavcic def. Austin Krajicek||7-5, 7-6|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Yafan Wang def. Marina Erakovic||7-6, 4-6, 6-3|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Radek Stepanek def. Franko Skugor||6-1, 6-1|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Laura Robson def. Su Jeong Jang||6-3, 6-2|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Rebecca Peterson def. Anhelina Kalinina||5-7, 6-0, 6-2|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Alexandra Panova def. Susanne Celik||7-6, 1-6, 6-3|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Duckhee Lee def. Jose Statham||7-6, 6-3|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Julia Glushko def. Miharu Imanishi||6-4, 7-5|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Steven Diez def. Antal Van Der Duim||6-1, 6-0|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Alessandro Giannessi def. Ramkumar Ramanathan||7-5, 6-1|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Valeriya Strakhova def. Dinah Pfizenmaier||6-2, 6-2|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Jana Cepelova def. Maryna Zanevska||6-1, 6-3|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Miljan Zekic def. Andrey Rublev||6-7, 7-6, 6-4|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Myrtille Georges def. Misa Eguchi||6-4, 6-4|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Ilya Ivashka def. Nicolas Kicker||6-3, 6-2|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Adrian Menendez-Maceiras def. Aslan Karatsev||2-6, 6-3, 7-6|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Olga Savchuk def. Polina Leykina||6-2, 6-4|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Jordi Samper-Montana def. Pere Riba||2-6, 6-4, 6-4|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Tara Moore def. Tereza Mrdeza||6-4, 6-1|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Ryan Shane def. Kimmer Coppejans||2-6, 6-4, 6-1|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Kristina Kucova def. Sachia Vickery||6-3, 5-7, 6-1|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Steve Darcis def. Tommy Paul||6-3, 6-2|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Reilly Opelka def. Edouard Roger-Vasselin||3-6, 6-4, 6-3|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Melanie Oudin def. Caroline Dolehide||6-4, 6-3|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Sara Sorribes Tormo def. Sabina Sharipova||6-4, 7-5|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Konstantin Kravchuk def. Stefano Napolitano||6-3, 6-4|
|Women's Qualifying - Singles||Xinyun Han def. Jil Teichmann||7-6, 6-1|
|Men's Qualifying - Singles||Santiago Giraldo def. Marcelo Arevalo||7-6, 7-6|
Taylor Townsend, the 20-year-old American who made her U.S. Open debut in 2014, inched closer to making her second appearance in the biggest national tournament of the year with a straight-set win over Elizaveta Kulichkova.
Townsend has played in every Grand Slam event at least once, reaching the third round of the French Open in 2014. She went through some adversity last year with an ankle injury and changing coaches.
She explained everything that fell apart for her in an interview with Sports Illustrated's Courtney Nguyen:
I wasn't using everything and all the strokes that I have, which was the different spins and the angles and dropshots and slices, chip and charge. You know, all the stuff that kind of I would normally do I wasn't doing. I was hitting more flat—well not more flat, but more powerful and with more force. I was still trying get to the net, but it wasn't happening has often because I was hitting with more velocity versus spin or angles or something to make the other player move.
There is still work for Townsend to do before qualifying for the U.S. Open, but she already made an appearance in the French Open earlier this summer and is slowly getting back to where she was in 2014.
Doubles star Lucie Hradecka joined Townsend in the winner's circle with one of the best wins on Wednesday. The Czech Republic native rallied from 0-3 down in the third set to defeat Kai-Chen Chang.
Hradecka has taken part in the U.S. Open as a singles player seven times since 2009, only winning one match in that span. She struggled throughout the match, going just 6-of-24 on break points, but she got help from Chang's 15 double-faults.
This has turned out to be a memorable couple of weeks for Hradecka, who won an Olympic bronze medal as part of a mixed doubles team with Radek Stepanek.
Karen Khachanov, a 20-year-old rising star from Russia, advanced with a 6-4, 6-4, win over Mirza Basic. Khachanov did get on the radar earlier this year at the Barcelona Open where he knocked off Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round.
Reilly Opelka is one of the United States' rising stars in the sport. He's just 18 years old but is already 6'11".
Mike Opelka of The Blaze provided video of Opelka's match point against Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the third set:
Keep an eye on Opelka heading into the next match against Santiago Giraldo on Thursday. The young American battled leg issues and hand cramps during his win Thursday, so a quick turnaround will not do his body any favors.
With just two more days of qualifying matches left, the intensity is going to amplify for all the male and female competitors looking to make their marks on the year's final Grand Slam event. It is a long road from the qualifiers to the main stage, so the players who won Thursday have no time to waste.