Eighteen-year-old Alex De Minaur (NSW) has been awarded a wildcard into the US Open.

The rising Aussie star has had a breakthrough season which has seen his ranking soar from world No.351 in January to a career-high of 186 this week. He reached his first ATP Challenger final in Spain last week and won his first professional title, an ITF Futures, in Portugal last month.

The Wimbledon 2016 boys’ singles finalist impressed during the Australian summer, qualifying for the Brisbane International, winning his first ATP main draw match at Sydney International then scoring his maiden Grand Slam main draw win after saving a match point in the opening round of the Australian Open.

“Alex has had a terrific year and he continues to go from strength to strength,” Australia’s Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt said today.

“He won in the first round at the Australian Open this year so he’s already proven he can compete at this level and he deserves this opportunity in New York. Alex is in great form, he reached the final of a Challenger in Spain last week and is at a career high in terms of ranking. I wish him all the best.”

The women’s wildcard into the US Open will be determined by a play-off in New Haven this weekend.

“Providing our players with the opportunity to compete for valuable wildcards has proven to be a successful formula over the past couple of years,” Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik said.

“Everyone is in with a chance and the best performing player reaps the reward. I wish all the players the best for a great weekend of competition.”

World No.131Arina Rodionova (Vic), enjoying a career best season, heads the eight-player Australian field and will be joined by young Aussie women also on the rise, including Destanee Aiava (Vic), Lizette Cabrera (Qld) and Jaimee Fourlis (Vic).

Rounding out the draw is last year’s US Open wildcard play-off winner Ellen Perez (NSW) along with Olivia Rogowska (Vic), Kimberly Birrell (Qld) and Priscilla Hon (Qld).

Fourlis won the wildcard play-offs for both the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year.

The play-off tournament will be held on Friday 18 August to Sunday 20 August at the Connecticut Tennis Centre in New Haven.

It will be a knockout tournament format, with the winner securing the main draw wildcard as part of a reciprocal deal between Tennis Australia and the United States Tennis Association.

This article first appeared on the Tennis Australia website: https://www.tennis.com.au/news/2017/08/15/alex-de-minaur-awarded-us-open-wildcard-2

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