Fifth seed Andrey Rublev took just 98 minutes to dismantle the dream of 42-year-old Ivo Karlovic with a 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-3 defeat to reach the second round of the US Open on Monday..
With the injury absence of 40-year-old Roger Federer at this edition, the Croat was flying the flag for the veterans.
But the Russian seed blocked a record-setting attempt by the 2.11-meter serving giant, who was already the oldest US Open qualifier in the Open Era and was bidding to become the oldest player to defeat a Top-10 opponent at a Grand Slam since 1973.
Karlovic popped a respectable 18 aces in defeat while Rublev saved all four break points he faced in the three-hour opener.
Eighth seed Casper Rudd dispatched Japan’s Yuichi Sugito 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 after original opponent Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew injured from the tournament.
Argentine 11th seed Diego Schwartzman beat Ricardas Berankis 7-5, 6-3, 6-3.
Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, seeded 12th, pounded 53 winners in a four-hour marathon win over Russian qualifier Evgeny Donskoy, 7-6(0), 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(8).
The winner also produced 48 unforced errors but hit 15 aces to advance to the second round for a second consecutive year here,
He now plays No. 116 Bernabe Zapata Miralles, who beat 39-year-old Feliciano Lopez in a five-set Spanish shootout.
Halle champion and 23rd seed Ugo Humbert went out in the opening round to Germany’s 141-ranked Peter Gojowczyk 1-6, 6-1, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
The Frenchman has now lost for a third consecutive Grand Slam in the opening round.
Germany took a second win with a miracle fightback with Philip Kohlschreiber advancing as 2014 titleholder Marin Cilic quit their match trailing 6-7(4), 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-1, 2-0.
2017 Open finalist Kevin Anderson, plagued for several seasons by injury and now ranked 77th, went for nearly four and a half hours and fired 49 aces to outlast Czech Jiri Vesely 7-6(1), 4-6, 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(4).
Brandon Nakashima took revenge for a loss in the summer Atlanta final to John Isner, humbling the big man 7-6)7), 7-6(6), 6-3 despite 26 aces from the loser.
Defeat left Isner searching for some positive spin.
“I didn’t do well at Wimbledon (first round) and I certainly didn’t do well here. But apart from that, I’ve been very solid and been tough to beat.
“I don’t like to go out early like this. It’s disappointing. I’m ranked 20th and I’ve only played nine or ten tournaments this year..
“As long as I feel good, just maybe hopefully give myself another shot at this tournament next year.”
Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen finished off Australian John Millman 7-6(6), 7-6(2), 6-1. British No. 1 Dan Evans defeated Brazil’s Thiago Montiero 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-1.
Weekend Winston Salem semi-finalist Emil Ruusuvuori put out Pole Kamil Majchrzak 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
Main photo:- Andry Rublev wins first round match. Photo: Garrett Ellwood /USTA