Andy Murray, Jack Draper and Harriet Dart all claimed victories in a very successful first day of the US Open for Great Britain.
Murray started with his first straight-set win at a Grand Slam in five years, defeating Argentina’s 24th seed Francisco Cerundolo 7-5 6-3 6-3.
After entering the competition with narrow wins and concerns over a cramp problem that had affected him in several games, it was a very positive start to his campaign.
Murray said: “Mentally it’s not easy going into a five-set match in these conditions after the last few weeks have gone by for me and I’ve done well.
“I’ve done well physically and mentally to put that on the back burner and find a way to get through it. I was really happy with that.
“It was really difficult conditions out there. In the beginning it was actually ok, but towards the end it got really hot and muggy. I thought I did a pretty good job out there. Could have finished a few sets quicker but overall it was a solid performance.”
Murray will next face young American Emilio Nava, who is attempting to reach the third round at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2016.
Although Draper’s clash with Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori was his first senior game in New York, his meteoric rise this season has been so meteoric that he was already seen as someone to avoid in the draw.
And that’s not going to change, even after an efficient 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 success to set up an intriguing second-round clash against sixth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime.
“It’s my third Grand Slam, second on merit,” said the 20-year-old Draper. “I would say it’s a really important win for me. He had me at Queen’s, he played an incredible match there, so I definitely had doubts before the match.
“But I was proud of how I handled my first time here, thought I played a solid match. I think I can still improve in tennis, but mentally and physically it was a good performance.”
The day’s result from a British perspective came from Darts, who stunned 10th seed Daria Kasatkina 7-6(8) 1-6 6-3 for her first win over a top 10 player.
The British number two had never won a peloton at Flushing Meadows before and appeared to have a very tough encounter with Russia’s Kasatkina, who sits in ninth place after winning a WTA Tour title on Saturday.
But Dart fought brilliantly in hot conditions on Court 12, recovering from a shaky second set and then coming from behind in the third to continue her best year of her career.
The 26-year-old’s reward is a very victorious second-round match against Hungary’s Dalma Galfi.
Britain’s only defeat was an expected one as Kyle Edmund, who was in his first Grand Slam singles match in two years after undergoing three knee surgeries, lost to 5th seed Casper Ruud 3-6 7-5 2-6.
Defending champion Emma Raducanu, number 7 Cameron Norrie and number 20 Dan Evans will all be looking to join the British winners on Tuesday.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/andy-murray-harriet-dart-jack-draper-new-york-british-b2155370.html Best of British at the US Open as Andy Murray, Jack Draper and Harriet Dart all win