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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sunitha Rao chases US Open berth

Sunitha Rao chases US Open berth

Last updated on: August 24, 2007 15:23 IST

India's Sunitha Rao is only one step away from making it to the singles main draw of a Grand Slam event for the first time after getting past her second roung qualifying at the US Open on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Davis Cuppers Rohan Bopanna and Prakash Amtriraj stumbled out of the qualifying event. Bopanna lost 4-6, 7-6(7) 5-7 to number 19 seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in the second round.

Amritraj, whose first round match was put off to Thursday, went down 6-3, 1-6, 4-7 to Japan's Kei Nishikori.

Sunitha, the highest ranked Indian in WTA charts after Sania Mirza, upset 20th seed Varvara Lepchenko of Uzbekistan 7-5, 6-0 to advance to the final round of women's singles qualifier.

She has failed to qualify for the main draw at Flushing Meadows in the previous six attempts, but has never got as far as the last round.

The 22-year-old faces a tough test against world number 78 Zi Yan of China on Friday.

Pakistan's Aisam Qureshi, who made a splash at this year's Wimbledon, made quick work of Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil to advance into the third round. Qureshi won 6-4, 6-1 in the second round to set up a clash with America's Scoville Jenkins.