Maturing Demon passes big test of resolve
ALEX de Minaur is the first Australian through to the second round of the US Open men's singles after downing Pierre-Hugues Herbert in four sets.
De Minaur recovered from a service break down in the fourth set to advance 6-4 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 in a battle that ticked pat the three-hour mark.
A winner of all four grand slam doubles crowns, Herbert is the Frenchman that Nick Kyrgios beat last year at Flushing Meadows after a controversial mid-match pep talk from chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani.
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"It's never an easy match-up against Pierre so very happy with how things went," de Minaur said.
"Obviously the third set slipped a bit, a bit of a lapse in concentration, but it's what happens in five-set matches. You've got to expect these things.
"So I'm happy I was able to bounce back and not let it affect me too much.
"I felt like as soon as I got out of that 2-0, 15-40 game on serve, that I was going to get chances because the whole match I was returning and serving really well."
Next up for de Minaur is Chile's 31st seed Christan Garin, who needed five sets to get past American wildcard Chris Eubanks.
"He's another quality opponent, very tough, very solid," de Minaur said of Garin.
"Look, I'm happy to get through my first round and it's going to be another incredibly tough match.
"But I'm feeling good, the body's feeling good and I'm just pumped to be here."
Meanwhile, Russian star Daniil Medvedev believes he still has a distance to go before he can be considered a genuine Grand Slam contender after sprinting into the second round of the US Open.
Fifth seed Medvedev required just 85 minutes to dispatch India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-4 6-1 6-2 and book a meeting with Bolivian outsider Hugo Dellien.
"I can't say I'm feeling amazing about my game but to win by that score in the first round is great," Medvedev said.
"I hope I can continue to play well."
Medvedev cracked the top five for the first time following his triumph at this month's Cincinnati Masters, where he defeated Novak Djokovic en route to the title, improving on runner-up finishes at Montreal and Washington in the preceding weeks.
Tipped as a potential candidate to end the dominant run of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at Grand Slams, Medvedev, who has yet to go beyond the last 16 at a major, was quick to cool expectations.
"I always try to stay at the same time a little bit away (from this talk), because I always say at this moment of my career I haven't even been in the quarters of a Slam yet," he said.