New York, USA, 1 September 2021 | Leigh Rogers

Australia’s top-ranked man Alex de Minaur has been knocked out of the US Open, with American Taylor Fritz recording a 7-6(4) 6-2 1-6 6-4 victory in their first-round match today.

Fritz is one of the highest-ranked unseeded players in the men’s singles draw and the world No.41 proved why he is dangerous, firing 42 winners to De Minaur’s 37 in their three-hour clash.

De Minaur recently returned to the tour after contracting COVID-19 and the world No.17’s confidence was clearly lacking early in the Louis Armstrong Stadium night match, committing an uncharacteristic 49 unforced errors.

The spirited De Minaur kept trying to find a way. The 22-year-old Australian fought back to win the third set, giving himself a glimmer of hope as he looked to stage his first ever comeback from a two-sets-to-love deficit.

Little separated the pair in a tight fourth set, until Fritz struck in the 10th game.

The Australian bravely saved one match point with a forehand winner. But he couldn’t save a second, with 23-year-old Fritz breaking to record his first top-20 win at a major tournament.

It is De Minaur’s first loss to Fritz, having never lost a set in their four previous meetings.

The result leaves Jordan Thompson as the last Australian standing in the top half of the men’s singles draw. The world No.59 progressed to the second round after winning a fiercely-contested five-set battle with Italy’s Gianluca Mager earlier today.

> READ: Thompson wins US Open opening-round battle 

Wildcard Max Purcell’s main draw debut ended with a loss to world No.16 Jannik Sinner – however, the 23-year-old Australian gallantly pushed the Italian to four sets in their first-round clash.

In women’s singles action today, top seed Ash Barty and Ajla Tomljanovic both recorded impressive opening-round wins.

> READ: Barty, Tomljanovic begin US Open in style

However, Sam Stosur’s 16th US Open campaign ended with a loss to world No.28 Anett Kontaveit and wildcard Storm Sanders was beaten by Japan’s Misaki Doi.

Aussies in action – US Open

Men’s singles, first round
Jordan Thompson (AUS) 
d Gianluca Mager (ITA) 4-6 6-3 7-5 2-6 7-6(3)
Taylor Fritz (AUS) d [14] Alex de Minaur (AUS) 7-6(4) 6-2 1-6 6-4
[13] Jannik Sinner (ITA) d [WC] Max Purcell (AUS) 6-4 6-2 4-6 6-2

Women’s singles, first round
[1] Ash Barty (AUS) d Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 6-1 7-6(7)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) d [WC] Katie Volynets (USA) 6-3 6-1
[28] Anett Kontaveit (EST) d Sam Stosur (AUS) 6-3 6-0
Misaki Doi (JPN) d [WC] Storm Sanders (AUS) 7-6(3) 6-3

Men’s singles, second round
Jordan Thompson (AUS) 
v [21] Aslan Karatsev (RUS)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS)
 v [15] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)

Women’s singles, second round
[1] Ash Barty (AUS) v Clara Tauson (DEN)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 
v [30] Petra Martic (CRO)

> READ: US Open doubles draws revealed