|US Open 2019|
|Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep|
|Coverage: Live text and radio commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app|
Britain’s Johanna Konta and Dan Evans came through tricky encounters to reach the second round of the US Open.
British number one Konta started in devastating form against Daria Kasatkina, winning the first set in 24 minutes, but was then frustrated before going on to triumph 6-1 4-6 6-2.
Evans progressed with a 6-4 6-3 2-6 6-3 win over Adrian Mannarino.
But fellow Britons Harriet Dart and Cameron Norrie were knocked out at Flushing Meadows.
Konta will play Russian world number 61 Margarita Gasparyan next, while Evans takes on French 25th seed Lucas Pouille.
Konta is the only British woman left in the singles after Dart’s first appearance in the main draw here ended with a 6-3 6-1 defeat by Romanian Ana Bogdan.
British number three Norrie also failed to advance on day one of the final Grand Slam tournament of the year, succumbing 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2) to French qualifier Gregoire Barrere in a match that ticked past four hours.
British number one Kyle Edmund opens his campaign on Tuesday against Spaniard Pablo Andujar.
Konta overcomes frustrations to advance
Konta, who reached the French Open semi-finals and Wimbledon quarter-finals this year, got off to a flying start in what was a tough first-round draw against former top-10 player Kasatkina.
The British 16th seed did not drop a point on her first serve in the opening set but was then held back in the second when unforced errors crept in.
She was also left frustrated by a series of line calls that were overruled by the umpire.
She was particularly angry after a Kasatkina forehand was called out before the umpire overruled and awarded the point to the Russian and her mood darkened moments later when her own shot was called out and overruled only for the point to be replayed.
“How is ‘replay the point’?” she asked the umpire. “It’s the same situation!”
She went on to lose that set but after taking a bathroom break before the start of the third she returned to deliver more of the dominance she had shown in the opening set.
After trading breaks early in the third, Konta got the key breakthrough to go 4-1 up, eventually sealing victory when Kasatkina served back-to-back double faults.
Konta glad to win in front of celebrity guest
Konta was supported by award-winning British actor Tom Hiddleston, who sat courtside in her players’ box alongside his co-stars in the Broadway play Betrayal.
Konta says she met the 39-year-old, who is most famous for appearing in several Marvel films and BBC drama The Night Manager, when he approached her on a New York street last week.
“I did the Good Samaritan thing and said to myself, ‘Don’t bother him, he’s obviously busy’,” Konta said.
“And then he actually said, ‘I don’t usually do this but I’m a massive fan,’ and I was like, ‘What, who? Who else is here?’
“So I invited him to come down and it was a good match for everyone to watch.”
Evans into second round but Norrie falls short
Like Konta, Evans started his match comfortably, going two sets up against French world number 57 Mannarino.
But the British number two, who split with his coach David Felgate earlier this month, then became increasingly frustrated with himself as errors began to creep in on his serve and he was broken twice to lose the third set.
“I haven’t felt comfortable, I was frustrated – I didn’t like how I was hitting the ball or serving, I was pretty angry, I wasn’t great out there,” he said in a courtside interview.
“I was fine physically. It was more mental, going through service games – my own games – which I was struggling with.”
Evans, who reached the third round on his last outing to Flushing Meadows in 2016, is hoping to build on an excellent grass-court season this year which included reaching the Wimbledon third round and back-to-back Challenger titles.
Norrie could not follow Evans’ lead despite a battling performance against world number 109 Barrere, who had come through three rounds of qualifying and had started to look like he was cramping in the fifth set.
The Briton trailed by two sets but then staged a comeback, saving two match points to force a fourth-set tie-break, which he won to take it to a decider.
He served for the match twice but both times allowed the Frenchman back in and paid the price for his errors as Barrere raced to a 6-1 lead in the fifth-set tie-break.
The Briton saved another match point but there was nothing he could do about the next one where his racquet was sent flying from his hand by Barrere’s powerful winning shot.