Another successful day of British action at the US Open saw all of Jack Draper, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans join Andy Murray in the third round at Flushing Meadows.
Former champion Murray had survived a scare against American youngster Emilio Nava to book his spot in round three and will be joined by a trio of his compatriots after a pulsating day of action.
Wimbledon semi-finalist Norrie had to dig extremely deep to get the better of Portugal’s Joao Sousa, but the seventh seed eventually came through courtesy of a 6-4 6-4 7-6 [7-4] success.
Norrie was physically far from his best against Sousa, who began to struggle with a shoulder injury midway through the contest but nevertheless performed valiantly after losing the first two sets.
The deciding set went all the way to a tie-break, where Norrie brought up two match points with a wonderful cross-court forehand before his well-documented fitness came into play.
An aggressive Sousa made the Brit dash from corner to corner across the court, but Norrie continued to return well and clinched the win when his counterpart could only find the net with a drop shot.
“It was tough – he was playing everything to my backhand and I was playing to his, and it was quite tricky conditions,” Norrie told Amazon Prime after the contest.
“A couple of points today I managed to take care of my serve and it was nice to stick in that third set and play a complete tie-break. I was really nervous and couldn’t quite put my finger on why.”
Norrie has been rewarded with a third-round battle against Holger Rune, and before the world number nine came up with the goods, Evans advanced to the third round after a four-set battle with James Duckworth.
Evans missed a plethora of opportunities to break the Australian’s serve early doors before ultimately managing to go two sets to the good, the second of which was clinched by a double fault from Duckworth.
The 30-year-old Duckworth came out fighting in the third set to extend the match that little bit longer, but a spectacular down-the-line backhand from Evans – arguably the shot of the day – sealed his place in the third round, where 2014 champion Marin Cilic awaits.
Prior to Evans and Norrie’s successes, the stellar rise of 20-year-old Draper continued with a straight-sets victory over Canadian sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 6-4 6-4.
Draper’s shock success at Flushing Meadows means he will compete in the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the very first time, and he will battle Karen Khachanov for the right to adbance to round four.
Commenting on his compatriots’ strong results at the tournament so far, Norrie added: “It is very cool, especially Jack Draper coming through and same with Andy and Evo.
“We’re all feeding off each other and all in form and all enjoying our tennis. It’s nice to show that all our hard work is paying off and there are plenty more guys behind us.”
Elsewhere on Thursday, there were victories for Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Andrey Rublev and defending champion Daniil Medvedev, who cruised through against Arthur Rinderknech 6-2 7-5 6-3.