Hijikata records breakthrough victory at US Open 2023
Australian wildcard Rinky Hijikata has scored his first top-100 singles win at Grand Slam level to advance to the second round in New York.
Rinky Hijikata can add a first US Open main-draw singles win to his ever-growing list of achievements this season.
The 22-year-old Australian wildcard scored a hard-fought 7-5 5-7 6-3 7-5 opening-round victory today against world No.98 Pavel Kotov at Flushing Meadows.
Cheered on by a vocal crowd at Court 15, Hijikata was able to navigate numerous momentum swings to eventually subdue the 24-year-old Russian.
Hijikata, currently ranked at a career-high world No.110, tallied 52 winners in the gruelling three-hour and 59-minute encounter.
This is Hijikata’s seventh career top-100 singles win – and his first at Grand Slam level.
It continues a breakout season for Hijikata, who memorably won the Australian Open doubles title alongside compatriot Jason Kubler in January.
Hijikata’s attention now turns to a second-round clash with Hungary’s Marton Fuscovics.
This equals Hijikata’s career-best Grand Slam singles result, having also made the second round at this year’s Australian Open.
World No.41 Alexei Popyrin bowed out in the opening round, losing to Switzerland’s Dominic Stricker for the second consecutive Grand Slam tournament.
In women’s singles action, Daria Saville and Ajla Tomljanovic scored first-round wins.
Saville recorded her first win at the US Open in five years to set up a showdown with world No.1 Iga Swiatek, while Ajla Tomljanovic made a triumphant return from knee surgery.
Aussies in action – US Open
Men’s singles, first round
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) d Pavel Kotov 7-5 5-7 6-3 7-5
[Q] Dominic Stricker (SUI) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-3
Women’s singles, first round
Daria Saville (AUS) d [WC] Clervie Ngounoue (USA) 6-0 6-2
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) d Panna Udvardy (HUN) 3-6 6-2 6-4
 Karolina Muchova (CZE) d [WC] Storm Hunter (AUS) 6-4 6-0
Mirra Andreeva d [Q] Olivia Gadecki (AUS) 1-6 6-3 6-4
Jennifer Brady (USA) d [LL] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) 6-3 7-6(4)
Men’s singles, first round
 Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [Q] Timofey Skatov (KAZ)
Max Purcell (AUS) v Chris O’Connell (AUS)
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Botic van de Zandschulp (NED)
Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v  Alexander Zverev (GER)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v [Q] Hsu Yu-Hsiou (TPE)
Jason Kubler (AUS) v Matteo Arnaldi (ITA)
[LL] James Duckworth (AUS) v [Q] Felipe Meligeni Alves (BRA)
Men’s singles, second round
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v Marton Fucsovics (HUN)
Women’s singles, second round
Daria Saville (AUS) v  Iga Swiatek (USA)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v  Elena Rybakina (KAZ)
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