Women’s Tennis shows out at U.S. Open

Three players affiliated with Vanderbilt’s women’s tennis team competed in the grand slam.


Brent Szklaruk

Astra Sharma and the Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis Team faces off against Nebraska on Friday, January 26, 2018. (Hustler Multimedia/Brent Szklaruk)

Noah Roslin and Isabella Lefkowitz-Rao

Vanderbilt women’s tennis was represented well in the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York, this past week, with two alumni and one current student competing. 

Fernanda Contreras Gomez (‘19) and Astra Sharma (‘18) competed in the women’s qualifying draws. Freshman Sonya Macavei competed in the girl’s draw for athletes ages 18 and under. The trio won a combined five matches, highlighted by a three-match run by Contreras that landed her in the main draw.

This success is nothing new to Contreras, who is in the midst of a breakout year; she reached a career high of 157th in the world rankings as of June 20, 2022. This year’s Open is her third main draw in a row, after getting through the qualifying round at Wimbledon and the French Open, where she won a main draw match as well. The former two-time All-American came into the tournament ranked 200th in the world, but a sharp rise in the rankings is expected for the 24 year-old. 

Sharma won two matches in the qualifying round before dropping 6-4, 6-4 to the fifth seeded Viktorija Golubic. The 26-year-old is also not new to the big stage, although her experience surpasses Contreras’s by a good margin. She has played 17 total grand slam matches—no small feat considering the three victories in a row needed to simply qualify for the tournament. 

Sharma’s Vanderbilt resumé is extensive, compiling two All-American nods in doubles and one in singles. She also earned an SEC player of the year award in 2017 and, possibly most impressive, the 2015 NCAA tournament MVP as a freshman. Sharma’s excellent play should see her end the calendar year firmly in the top 200.

Macavei, one half of Vanderbilt’s 6th overall recruiting class, dropped in the first round of the girl’s draw to the fourth seed. The southpaw from Loveland, Ohio, was ranked 59th in the world junior tennis rankings heading into the tournament, and 11th nationally in the recruiting class of 2022. Her and fellow blue-chip recruit Bridget Stammel look to bolster an already promising team that only lost two players since last year and that made a run to the third round of the NCAA tournament.

Although the official season for women’s tennis won’t get started for another couple months, you can still keep track of these former and current Commodore tennis players on the rise in tournaments around the world. Macavei will be in dual-match season, but Contreras and Sharma are both set to compete in the Australian Open Qualifiers come January.