Third seed Carlos Alcaraz started his fortnight the easy way on Tuesday, reaching the second round of the US Open when opponent Sebastian Baez was forced to retire with a leg injury in the third round.
The 37th-ranked Argentine handed over a 7-5, 7-5, 2-0 victory to the teenager who has rocketed up the rankings and takes the third seeding – one behind countryman and idol Rafael Nadal, who is making his start in the evening session.
Baez took a medical timeout after the second set and soldiered on for two more games before calling it all off.
Alcaraz advanced in two and a half hours on court, firing 32 winners and breaking serve on five of 13 chances.
“I’m really happy to get through, it was a really, really tough match – horrible end.
“It was really tough conditions, very humidi and the heat was pretty tough.
“I’m just really happy with the level and glad to be able to play the second round.”
Seventh-seeded Brit Cam Norrie, semi-finalist in Cincinnati, sent out Benoit Paire 6-0, 7-6(1), 6-0, completely dominating the Frenchman who stands a dismal 4-21 this season.
The No. 173 who once stood 18th, handed in 57 unforced errors in another listless effort; Pair last won in New York three years ago.
Norrie said he still had to be on his guard.
“I came out pretty sharp, and I started up a break. He kind of went away into the first set.
“It’s tough winning a set 6-love against a guy who is dangerous and can serve really well.
“He played a really loose tiebreak, rushed a lot in the third set, it was all going very quickly, but I’ll take it.
“It was pretty hot out there, and nice to get it done in straights.”
Dan Evans joined his compatriot to put another Brit into the second round, defeating Czech Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-1, 6-1.
John Isner completed a 6-3, 6-1, 7-5 result over Federico Delbonis, boosted by 19 aces from the big man, who had lost in the first round at the last two editions.
The 15th-ranked 2014 winner Marin Cilic began with a win, defeating German qualifier Maximilian Marterer 6-3, 6-2, 7-5. Denmark’s Holger Rune put out Peter Gojowczyk 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(5).
James Duckworth won an all-Australian first-round with his defeat of compatriot Christopher O’Connell 4-6, 7-6(0), 6-2, 6-3.
French veteran Richard Gasquet, playing in the main draw for the 18th time, started with a 6-4, 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Japan’s Taro Daniel.