Jack Draper has reached the second week of a grand slam for the first time after beating American Michael Mmoh in the third round of the US Open.
The British number four silenced the home crowd with a gritty display in a 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory.
The Grandstand court at Flushing Meadows is an intimidating place for an overseas player taking on an American, but Draper had almost emptied it when he went 2-0 ahead.
🇬🇧 Jack Draper is victorious in the concrete jungle. pic.twitter.com/hIcQZuAXVn
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 2, 2023
Mmoh, ranked 89 in the world, hit back in the third, but Draper dug deep to break for 4-2 in the fourth before clinching a huge win.
Grandstand is also the court which Draper hurt his hamstring a year ago in his third-round match against Karen Khachanov, forcing him to retire.
The 21-year-old has been beset by injuries ever since and was a doubt to even play in New York due to a tear in his shoulder.
Yet Draper, serving with less vim than usual in a bid to manage the problem, still thumped 52 winners to surge into the last 16.
He said: “I was thinking that on the court today it’s like Groundhog Day out there. I think it was exactly one year on.
“Last year I was playing Khachanov, and I felt like when I was playing him I was so tired. I was sort of carrying a bit of an injury. I’m so proud of the work that I’ve put in the last year.
“Even though I haven’t been able to compete too much, I generally think I’m a much better player and better all-around athlete, as well.
“To come here a year on, despite maybe my ranking having dropped a fair bit because of the injuries and not being able to be on the same confidence level that I was last year, you know, I’m incredibly proud of that and hopefully I can keep going this week.”
British number one Cameron Norrie tumbled out after a straight-sets defeat to Matteo Arnaldi.
An out-of-sorts Norrie, the 16th seed, was beaten 6-3 6-4 6-3 by the Italian world number 61
“I actually think I started well,” he said. “I was hitting the ball really well all week but I didn’t have the shot tolerance to hang with him.
“He was really crafty and won a lot of tough points so credit to him.”