Veteran South African Kevin Anderson survived a five-set thriller on Monday to advance to the second round of the 2021 US Open in New York.
The 35-year-old Anderson won 7-6, 4-6, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 against Czech star Jiri Vesely in a match that lasted four hours and 19 minutes.
Anderson served 48 aces on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows, while Vesely recorded 27 aces.
The tall South African, who featured in the final in New York in 2017, will next play Argentine star Diego Schwartzman, the No 11 seed, in the second round on Wednesday.
“Tough one today. Happy to be on to round two,” said Anderson after the five-set match.
South Africa’s other big Major hope, Lloyd Harris, was set to face Karan Khachanov, the 25th seed, in his opening round match later on Tuesday.