Undoubtedly the biggest highlight to come out of Day 2 of the 2020 US Open was the fighting comeback by Andy Murray.
The Scot, who has dropped out of the world’s top 100 after battling injuries for much of the past three years, appeared dead and buried when he trailed two-sets-to-love in his first-round match against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.
The 33-year-old trailed by a break in the third set but managed to win it in a tiebreak, and then fought off a match point at 6-5 in the fourth before claiming that set, also in a tiebreak, to force a one-set shootout.
He then coughed up a break in the final set but pulled off one final miracle to win the final set 6-4, completing his first comeback from two sets down at a Major since the 2016 French Open in four hours and 38 minutes.
It had been his first Grand Slam singles match since last year’s Australian Open, where he lost a five-set epic against Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round, after which many feared that he would retire from professional tennis for good.
But Murray, who has won three Major titles and two Olympic gold medals, doesn’t give up easily and for him to still be playing today, given all the injury troubles he has endured in the past three years, is a major victory in itself.
Murray’s fighting victory capped off a good day for the Brits at Flushing Meadows, with 30th seed Dan Evans also winning, while women’s ninth seed Johanna Konta shook off a determined challenge from compatriot Heather Watson, winning in straight sets.
The trio join Cameron Norrie and Kyle Edmund in the second round, the pair having won the previous day.
Still in the men’s draw, Norwegian 30th seed Casper Ruud was also forced to come from two sets down, doing so against Mackenzie McDonald, who entered the draw via a protected ranking.
Dominic Thiem progressed when Jaume Munar retired after dropping the first two sets, while seeded players Karen Khachanov and Grigor Dimitrov also advanced.
In the women’s draw, the ageless Serena Williams recorded her 102nd match win at the US Open after taking care of compatriot Kristie Ahn in straight sets.
The 23-times Major champion is now just one win away from a potential third round showdown against compatriot Sloane Stephens, after the 2017 champion defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu in straight sets.
American 22nd-seed Amanda Anisimova broke her duck at the tournament by defeating Viktoriya Tomova 7-5, 7-5, while seventh seed Madison Keys fed Timea Babos a pair of breadsticks.
Reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin was barely made to sweat in her opening match, taking care of 2009 semi-finalist Yanina Wickmayer with a straight-sets victory.
But Serena’s elder sister, Venus, wasn’t so lucky, falling to 20th seed Karolina Muchova in straight sets.
Fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka defeated France’s Oceane Dodin to line up a clash against compatriot Victoria Azarenka, who defeated Barbara Haas for the loss of just three games, in what will be the sequel to their epic first-round clash from last year.
Two-time Major champion Garbine Muguruza defeated Nao Hibino in straight sets; next for her is former Wimbledon semi-finalist Tsvetana Pironkova.
Dual Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will kick off Day 3 on Arthur Ashe Stadium when she takes on Kateryna Kozlova, followed by men’s world number one Novak Djokovic against Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
In the evening, Naomi Osaka will face Italy’s Camila Giorgi, followed by men’s fourth seed Stefanos Tsitipas taking on American wildcard Maxime Cressy.
The 2016 finalists, Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova, will headline action on Louis Armstrong Stadium on either side of German fifth seed Alexander Zverev facing another American wildcard, Brandon Nakashima.