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US Open: Stan Wawrinka, Victoria Azarenka headline wildcards list

first_imgFormer Grand Slam champions Stan Wawrinka, Victoria Azarenka and Svetlana Kuznetsova were among the biggest names in the list of players who were given a wildcard into this year’s US Open, the US Tennis Association said on Tuesday.Switzerland’s Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion, did not defend his 2016 Flushing Meadows title last year because of a knee injury that required surgery last August and kept him sidelined until January.Since exiting in the second round at Wimbledon, Wawrinka has won only three matches during the American hardcourt campaign.He fell in the first round in Washington before suffering a third-round loss to world number one and eventual champion Rafael Nadal in Toronto. He is back in action in Cincinnati this week and will face Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the second round.Former world No.1 Azarenka, who has been the runners-up at US Open twice and is the winner of two Australian Open titles, withdrew from the tournament last year as she was in the midst of a custody battle for her child. Victoria Azarenka is a former world number one. (Reuters Photo)In the latest WTA rankings, she has risen to 87th in the world but Azarenka was not ranked high enough when the cutoff for the entry list was made and therefore, she required the wildcard.The same is the case with Kuznetsova, who is currently world No.88. The Russian, who won the first of her two Grand Slam titles at the 2004 US Open as a 19-year-old, lifted her 18th WTA title in Washington nine days ago.advertisementThe US Open will begin on August 27 and will go till September 9.Current French Open winner Rafael Nadal will be the defending champion in men’s singles while Sloane Stephens will look to hold her title in the women’s singles category.Last year, Nadal has defeated South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in straight sets to win his 3rd US Open title while Stephens had won her first US Open title with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Madison Keys.(With Reuters inputs)last_img

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