The victories of Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans brought five British players to the second round of the US Open, but defending champion Emma Raducanu fell.
Norrie kept her focus amid faltering effort levels from unpredictable Frenchman Benoit Paire to win 6-0 7-6 (1) 6-0 while Evans produced a high quality performance by beating Czech Jiri Vesely 6-4 6- 1 6-1.
After 10 British players have made the second round at Wimbledon, the highest since 1984, five are the best US Open since 1981 in terms of Britons until the second round.
But this year’s heroism in New York will not come from Raducanu, who fell 6-3 6-3 to Alize Cornet on a windy evening.
Andy Murray, Harriet Dart and Jack Draper all won their games on Monday, with the latter marking his highly anticipated debut with a two-set win over Emil Ruusuvuori to set up a clash against Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Draper enjoys learning from his more experienced compatriots and the 20-year-old believes there has been a change in attitude towards British tennis.
“It’s fun to have guys you know and practice with and support you,” she said. “As a nation I now feel like we are respected for having many great tennis players. It is certainly exciting and even as a young man I feed on their energy ”.
The Lawn Tennis Association has set itself the goal of being one of the most respected nations for player development, but Evans is wary of too many pats on the back.
The 32-year-old has previously been a critic of the LTA and fears that the picture, certainly in the men’s game, is not as rosy as it might seem.
He said, “After Jack, what is it? There is an open hole. Our best youngster, Jack Pinnington-Jones, will go to college. Jack was very well funded and did (things) his way, but there were other people too – you can’t say it’s money well spent.
“He’s in a good position, I’m not saying he’s not, but I think we need some more. If we start saying we’re doing really well, we’ll rest on our laurels. “
Regardless of whether other young players join him or not, it seems Draper has all the tools to get to the top of the game.
He is already on the verge of entering the top 50 after climbing more than 200 positions since the start of the season and believes he can match his remarkable talent.
Draper, who took his first top-10 win in Montreal earlier this month with victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas, said he faced sixth-seeded Auger-Aliassime: last weeks and months.
“I’m afraid no one is participating in this tournament. Whoever I play against, I believe I can win. But obviously it will be a very tough match. It is in the top 10 for a reason. He is a great player.
“He can take the racket out of your hand. So let’s hope we play a good game. I don’t know much about him – I’ve never played with him or played with him. It will be nice to go out and play against him. “
Murray will be looking to reach round three here for the first time since 2016, while Dart’s reward for the best win of his career over Daria Kasatkina is a round two date with Hungarian Dalma Galfi.