UNLIKE Nick Kyrgios, fellow Australian Alex de Minaur has made a fuss-free entry to the third round of the US Open in New York – while John Millman scored one of the biggest wins of his career to join them.
Teenage ace de Minaur could hardly have been more impressive in taking out highly rated young American Frances Tiafoe 6-4 6-0 5-7 6-2 to reach the the last 32 for the second successive grand slam.
De Minaur next plays either Croatian seventh seed Marin Cilic, the 2014 champion, or Polish qualifier Hubert Hurkacz on Saturday for a spot in the second week of the season’s final major.
Millman, the world No.55, upset 14th-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini 6-1 4-6 6-4 6-1 to progress to the last 32 for the second straight year at Flushing Meadows.
A winner over Nick Kyrgios last year, Millman was thrilled to embark on another great run in the Big Apple.
“Obviously with Fabio, he has had a great year and he has won a couple of titles this year and we all know he can create something out of nothing,” the Queenslander said.
“He can kind of be a bit of a roller-coaster in terms of how he plays, sometimes with his emotions too. I don’t think that is any secret.
“For myself, it was important to keep a very good level and consistently go through that. I did that for the majority of the match.”
Millman’s victory set up a clash with unseeded Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin, himself a surprise straight-sets winner over Korean young gun Hyeon Chung.
Victory over the world No.84 would catapult Millman into a last-16 showdown with either Kyrgios or 20-times grand slam champion Roger Federer.
The 29-year-old knows opportunity knocks, but is keeping a level head.
“Mikhail is a very good player. When he is on, he can play some great, great tennis,” Millman said.
“He is an extremely good ball striker. He plays a tough game and he hits that backhand, it has almost got underspin on it.
“It is low over the net and shoots through on the courts. It is going to be really different conditions, though.
“It is going to be a bit about how I handle the conditions also, but I am really happy to be in another third round here and it would be great to win one more.”
Meanwhile, Matt Ebden’s has come to an end at the hands of veteran German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Kohlschreiber wore down the West Australian 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 6-2 6-0 with the extreme heat rule again in play for the third day running at Flushing Meadows.
Despite his second-round exit, 30-year-old Ebden will return to the world’s top 50 as he enjoys a late-career resurgence.