Australia’s James Duckworth has produced a stunning start to his US Open campaign, beating Dutchman Robin Haase who is ranked more than 130 places above him.
Duckworth, 24, went into his third US Open ranked 195 in singles, while his more-fancied opponent was placed in 62nd.
But it was the Australian who won the tight five-set contest, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 5-6, 6-3.
Duckworth, who has endured an injury-ravaged season and poor form leading into the US Open, was only in the draw thanks to a wildcard.
After a shaky first set which included 17 unforced errors, Duckworth bounced back from a break down in the second and dominated the third — a set where he sent down seven aces to nil, and only made four unforced errors.
He played brilliantly at times and wowed spectators, including Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt, with his athleticism and Boris Becker-like dive volleys at the net.
His only stumble after turning the match around came when he twice double-faulted, blaming the floodlights, to hand Haase the fourth set.
But he regrouped after a bathroom break to charge through the deciding set and eliminate the world number 64 in three hours and 31 minutes.
Duckworth faces ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round, after the Frenchman won his opening game in straight sets.
1Thompson goes close on grand slam debut
Australia’s Jordan Thompson has bowed out of the US Open with a five-set first round loss to Belgium’s Steve Darcis on day one of the year’s final major at Flushing Meadows.
The 22-year-old looked on course for an impressive victory in his first-ever match at the Open when he won the opening two sets.
However he was unable to stop a comeback by the world number 106, going down 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 7-5.
Thompson was hit and miss on his serve – he sent down 15 aces, but also had eight double faults, and he only had 52 per cent of his first serves in.
The first set took 52 minutes, with Thompson breaking in the 11th game before serving out to take the lead. He then backed up, sweeping through the second set 6-3 in just 35 minutes.
The third set went to a tie-break, with Darcis getting an early mini-break, then holding on and forcing an error from Thompson on set-point to get back in the match.
Darcis then won the fourth set 6-4 to take the match the full distance.
In the ninth game, Thompson looked to have thrown his chances away when he made an unforced error on his backhand to hand the break and a 5-4 lead to Darcis.
The Australian hit back, however, to force an error on his opponent’s serve on break point to level the score at 5-5, but the Belgian steadied and hit a backhand winner to go ahead 6-5, before serving out the match.