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Rublev, Auger-Aliassime advance on humid day one at US Open
The Russian and the Canadian avoided an early exit with strong performances in the first round
Russian Rublev, trying to get beyond the quarter-finals of a slam for the first time, saw off 42-year-old Ivo Karlovic, earning a 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 win and potentially sending the 6ft 11in Croat into retirement.
Karlovic said it’s 50-50 whether he carries on or not, and that he’ll decide when he goes home. If it’s the end of his career, then it’s probably fitting that his last serve should be an ace, the Croat having banged down more than 13,700 of them in his career.
Auger-Aliassime, who reached his first slam quarter-final at Wimbledon earlier this summer, survived a bruising encounter as he overcame Evgeny Donskoy of Russia 7-6, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6.
Ruud, Schwartzman through as Anderson finds serving boots
Eighth seed Casper Ruud cruised through with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Yuichi Sugita of Japan while No 11 Diego Schwartzman was too good for Ricardas Berankis as he won 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 and the No 15 seed Grigor Dimitrov also advanced, moving past American Sam Raffice in straight sets.
Kevin Anderson, a former finalist at the US Open, hammered 49 aces on his way to a 7-6, 4-6, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory over Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic, Christian Garin, the No 16 seed, won in four sets against Norbert Gombos while Dan Evans, seeded No 24, battled past Thiago Monteiro in a gruelling four-setter.