Three-time US Open champion Kim Clijsters is amongst those to have received a main draw wildcard for the women’s singles at the US Open this year, with the Belgian set to appear at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 2012.
Clijsters, who won the title in 2005, 2009, and 2010, retired for the second time following a second round loss to Laura Robson at Flushing Meadows eight years. Her return to the WTA Tour earlier this year was halted by the tour’s suspension due to the ongoing pandemic, though she will be back in action next week at the Top Seed Open in Kentucky.
The former world number one is one of eight women to receive a main draw wildcard. Also receiving a main draw berth is CiCi Bellis. The American memorably beat Dominika Cibullkova in the first round six years ago as a 15-year-old, and is making her way back to the sport after injury issues in recent years. There is also a wildcard for former French Open junior champion Whitney Osuigwe.
Caroline Dolehide, Usue Arconada, Francesca Di Lorenzo, and Ann Li are amongst the other young Americans to receive a wildcard, with 16-year-old Robin Montgomery the youngest player to receive a wildcard. The tournament usually offers wildcards to one Australian and one French player under a reciprocal arrangement, though it appears that this agreement has been suspended under current circumstances.
The tournament will begin on August 31st, and will be the first Grand Slam back following the Coronavirus pandemic. The tournament is set to take place behind closed doors and there have been several high profile withdrawals so far, with the likes of Rafael Nadal and Ashleigh Barty choosing to skip the event.