The last main draw wild card for this year's US Open was reserved for the winner of the Australian Women's Wildcard Play-off that took place in New Haven, and it is the 20-year-old Lizette Cabrera who has won three matches to punch the US Open ticket, making her debut in New York. Townsville, Queensland native is currently ranked 160th in singles and this has come in the perfect moment for her, reaching just two quarter-finals on the ITF level this year and avoiding some hard obstacles that she would have to face in the qualifications this week.
Cabrera had a chance to play on the biggest tennis stage in Melbourne in 2017 and 2018, still seeking the first Grand Slam win as she never managed to qualify in Paris, London or New York. Eight players were involved in the Play-off battle and Cabrera opened her run with a 6-7 6-3 6-4 win over Kim Birrell, storming over Abbie Myers 6-1 6-2 in the semis to set the final clash with 2016 Play-off winner Ellen Perez, never playing against her before.
It wasn't an obstacle for the youngster, scoring a 6-2 6-3 win to earn the US Open invitation and a chance to fight for a big amount of points and a great prize money.
“It feels amazing,” said Cabrera, “Especially after last year when I was so close.ALSO READ: U21 Race to Milan: Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas lead the field
I knew I really wanted it this year, so it feels really good. After my first match against Kim, it was a really tough one, and after that I just felt more comfortable on the courts and in matches. It really helped today. I wasn’t trying to rush with the points, keep playing really solid, not try and hit a winner but look to keep coming forward and being aggressive.
I love New York, going into the city and walking around Central Park, but I really like the Slam as well. I think the facilities are really nice, there’s an awesome crowd over there and hopefully they’ll be cheering for me.”