Heather Watson and Paul Jubb close in on US Open spot as Brits battle through qualifiers

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Heather Watson and Paul Jubb close in on US Open spot as Brits battle through qualifiers

British pair Heather Watson and Paul Jubb are each one win away from a place in the US Open main draw after qualifying victories in New York.

Jubb had to come from a set behind for the second round in a row before prevailing 4-6 6-1 7-5 against Portugal’s Pedro Sousa. He will play Dutchman Gijs Brouwer as he looks to reach the main draw of an overseas Grand Slam for the first time.

Watson, meanwhile, brushed aside Vitalia Diatchenko 6-2 6-3 and will now face Sara Bejilek of the Czech Republic on Friday evening, but Katie Boulter and Liam Broady both saw their hopes of qualifying ended after second round defeats.

Twelve months ago, Emma Raducanu became the first qualifier in history to win a Slam title and she has been handed a tough start to the defence of her crown after drawing France’s Alize Cornet, who ended Iga Swiatek’s 37-match unbeaten run at Wimbledon earlier this year.

Novak Djokovic will be missing from the men’s draw when the final Major of the year gets underway on Monday after withdrawing due to travel restrictions that bar unvaccinated foreigners from flying into the US.

British No1 Cameron Norrie is the seventh seed and will meet Benoit Paire of France in the first round at Flushing Meadows, while Andy Murray starts against Argentina’s 24th seed Francisco Cerundolo.

Murray has undergone “sweat testing” ahead of the start of the tournament in a bid to solve his recent struggles with cramps during matches, most recently when losing to Norrie in Cincinnati.

"We're trying to understand why exactly it's happening," he said. “We’re just trying to get some answers.”