New York, USA, 2 September 2022 | Leigh Rogers

Jason Kubler entered the US Open second round excited to face the top-ranked American remaining in the draw and compete on one of the tournament’s biggest stadiums, describing the opportunity as a “pretty cool experience”.

Yet in reality, his Grandstand debut proved a tough challenge.

Kubler was far from disgraced against world No.26 Frances Tiafoe, impressing with his spirited play throughout a three-hour and 11-minute encounter.

But in the end, Tiafoe had too much firepower for the 29-year-old Australian and recorded a 7-6(3) 7-5 7-6(2) victory.

Kubler, making his second main draw appearance in New York and looking to advance to the third round for a first time, had his chances.

The world No.109 squandered a set point on Tiafoe’s serve late in the opening set. The 24-year-old Tiafoe recovered to hold, then dominate the ensuing tiebreak that decided the 66-minute set.

Tiafoe edged ahead early in the second set, racing to a 5-2 lead. This time it was Kubler’s turn to save a set point, doing so in the seventh game. From there, Kubler won three consecutive games to level.

However, Kubler couldn’t maintain this momentum. Tiafoe struck back, breaking Kubler’s serve in the 12th game to take a two-set lead.

A determined Kubler moved ahead an early break in the third set – and had opportunities to earn a double break. But once again, Tiafoe found answers when tested.

From 1-3, Tiafoe won four of the next five games to regain the lead.

A gallant Kubler saved a match point in the 10th game, then forced a tiebreak. But there was no stopping Tiafoe, who sealed victory with another dominant tiebreak.

Tiafoe finished the match with 47 winners and 46 unforced errors. Kubler, in contrast, struck 39 winners but was undone by 61 costly unforced errors.

This effort propels Tiafoe into the third round, where he’ll meet No.14 seed Diego Schwartzman.

Schwartzman, a two-time US Open quarterfinalist, eliminated Australian Alexei Popyrin in straight sets earlier today. The 30-year-old Argentine was forced to work hard though in the second-round encounter, needing three hours and 42 minutes to overcome Popyrin.

James Duckworth was also beaten in the second round, however the world No.83 took positives from his four-set loss to No.20-seeded Brit Dan Evans.

> READ: Duckworth – “I’m feeling way better than I was a month ago”

Six Australian men advanced to the second round at the US Open this year, the most to reach this stage since 1997. Alex de Minaur and Nick Kyrgios have both progressed to the third round and are now the last two Australians standing in the men’s singles draw.

Aussies in action – US Open

Men’s singles, second round
[14] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 7-6(3) 7-5 7-6(6)
[20] Dan Evans (GBR) d James Duckworth (AUS) 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-4
[22] Frances Tiafoe (USA) d Jason Kubler (AUS) 7-6(3) 7-5 7-6(2)

> READ: Kokkinakis and Kyrgios among Aussie winners in doubles

Men’s singles, third round
[18] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [12] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)
[23] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v [WC] J.J. Wolf (USA)

> VIEW: US Open 2022 men’s singles draw

Women’s singles, third round
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v Serena Williams (USA)

> VIEW: US Open 2022 women’s singles draw

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