Hijikata charges into third round at US Open 2023
Australian wildcard Rinky Hijikata continues his career-best run in the US Open 2023 men's singles competition.
Rinky Hijikata has scored the biggest singles win of his Grand Slam career to reach the US Open third round.
The 22-year-old Australian stunned world No.57 Marton Fucsovics 6-1 6-2 6-1 in second-round action today at Flushing Meadows.
Fucsovics, a 31-year-old Hungarian, has been ranked as high as world No.31 and is a former Wimbledon quarterfinalist.
Yet it was world No.110 Hijikata who dominated the one-hour and 59-minute encounter, producing a near-perfect display to comprehensively beat his more-experienced opponent.
“It was a pretty complete performance,” Hijikata said.
“I was trying to dictate the points as much as I could but I felt like I wasn’t playing too risky at the same time.
“It’s rare when those days come, when you feel like you kind of have it on the string.”
The Aussie wildcard struck 21 winners to 14. He did not lose serve either, saving both break points he faced late in the third set.
“I wanted to back myself in this one and try take it to him,” Hijikata said.
This is Hijikata’s seventh career top-100 win – and his sixth recorded in a breakout 2023 season.
“This is only my third Slam main draw, so I’ve just been happy with how I’ve been competing and putting my best foot forward,” Hijikata said.
“So I’m stoked and looking forward to the next one.”
Hijikata, who is now set to make his top-100 debut, will face China’s Zhang Zhizhen in the third round.
Zhang, a 26-year-old ranked No.67, eliminated fifth seed and 2022 finalist Casper Ruud in a five-set second-round battle.
In women’s singles action, Daria Saville gallantly tested world No.1 Iga Swiatek.
Swiatek, the defending champion, had too many answers though and posted a 6-3 6-4 victory.
“I’m proud of myself but also disappointed,” Saville said.
“I’m still just coming back (from knee surgery) and it just gives me so much confidence that I did all that rehab for a reason and I can come back to a pretty good level.
“I enjoyed being out there on a big court playing against a No.1 in the world and entertaining the crowd. This just gives me motivation for the back end of the season.”
Unfortunately for Ajla Tomljanovic, injury prevented her from taking to the court for her scheduled second-round match with world No.4 Elena Rybakina.
The 30-year-old Australian, competing for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in January, has withdrawn from the tournament.
“My body still needs time to adjust to the intensity of high-level tennis,” Tomljanovic explained.
Aussies in action – US Open
Men’s singles, second round
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) d Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 6-1 6-2 6-1
Women’s singles, second round
 Iga Swiatek (USA) d Daria Saville (AUS) 6-3 6-4
 Elena Rybakina (KAZ) d Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) w/o
Men’s singles, second round
 Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Wu Yibing (CHN)
Chris O’Connell (AUS) v  Daniil Medvedev
Men’s singles, third round
[WC] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v Zhang Zhizhen (CHN)
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