Aussie tennis sensation Alex de Minaur has continued his strong hard court from having demolished Wu Yibing in straight sets at the US Open, while Chris O'Connell lost in an entertain match to Daniil Medvedev. De Minaur is one of three Aussies left in the draw and faced a tougher than expected task in the first round.
However, the Aussie lifted his game to rip past Wu 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 in less than 90 minutes to record his most dominant grand slam victory since 2018. De Minaur won 83 per cent of points on his first serve and hit only 10 unforced errors across the three sets to become the second Aussie to reach the third round.
De Minaur joined countryman Rinky Hijikata in the next stage as he enjoys success on the faster courts at Flushing Meadows. De Minaur's strong form has seen him earn his best seed for a US Open and he will now play Nicolas Jarry or Alex Michelsen in the next round.
The 24-year-old Aussie will be looking to surpass his best run at the US Open, quarter-final in 2020, but was humble in admitting his opponent may have not been on top of his game on an off day.
"Matches are never easy so whenever you get a chance to kind of come away with a win like that, you will take it for sure," de Minaur said after the match. "I don't think he was feeling 100 per cent today. It's a shame for him but ultimately it is one of those matches I did what I needed to do and happy to be in the next round.
"I was proud of my mental head space the whole match. I was locked in from the very first point until the last and no matter what was happening in the match. You always take a drama free match."
O'Connell managed to push Medvedev in the night session match, but fell in a fiery contest. Medvedev was cruising to victory against the tenacious Aussie star in their second round clash when O'Connell found another level.
Ripping his one-handed backhand and coming to the net, O'Connell put Medvedev off in the third set. O'Connell managed to take it to a tiebreak, but Medvedev managed two match points and looked to have wrapped up the contest.
But in stunning fashion, Medvedev double faulted. O'Connell used the energy of the crowd to win four points in a row to take the third set as the clock struck midnight. Medvedev was furious with himself and his usual antics started to creep into his game.
This saw Medvedev argue with the crowd and push a camera in anger as the Aussie fought back. Although, the Russian held his nerve in the fourth set to run away with the match 6-2, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2 having finished in the early hours of the morning in New York.
Pretty impressive from De Minaur.
Awaits Jarry or Michelsen. pic.twitter.com/YhZldxbFb6
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) August 31, 2023
Andy Murray in tough US Open drama
Unfortunately for Murray, he wasn't able to get the job done after losing in straight sets to Grigor Dimitrov. The 36-year-old was hoping to make a push at Flushing Meadows having pulled off a brilliant display against Frenchman Corentin Moutet in the opening round.
However, Dimitrov was too powerful for the Scot as the three-time grand slam champion struggled against the 19th seed. Murray was admittedly downbeat after the match and conceded he may not have it in him anymore to go deep into grand slams.
“It’s obviously disappointing to not play how you would like. But maybe I need to accept that, these events, I had the deep runs and everything that I felt like I'm capable of, they might not be there, as well,” Murray said after the match. “I'm aware what I'm doing, it's unbelievably challenging to play at the highest level as I am now. And some days it's harder than others.
"But yeah, today is obviously a really disappointing defeat and probably [because of] the manner of it as well. I fought hard enough, but just didn't play well enough. Ultimately these are the events that you want to play your best tennis in, and create more great moments and didn't do that this year.”
And in a sad farewell, American John Isner lost his final match of his career to fellow American Michael Mmoh. After 17 years on the circuit, the American announced the US Open would be his final tournament. And the towering American lost a five-set thriller in front of an adoring home crowd, which brought him to tears as the crowd cheered him on.
Ahead of his final match, Isner was thrilled at how his career had panned out. “Being the top American, I don't know how many years it was, just maintaining my ranking for a very long time, is something I'm very proud of,” Isner said.
“I took great pride in the preparation it took day in, day out, year after year after year. I really truly enjoyed that “I think I've overachieved. I never imagined myself having this much success for this long… Of course, there's so many matches I wish I could have back, but I prepared in my mind as best as I possibly could for 17 years. I don't have many regrets, that's for sure.”
John Isner's singles career comes to an end.
And the appreciation was evident on Grandstand. pic.twitter.com/DwyKReOVTE
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 31, 2023
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