British hopes at the US Open paled when Andy Murray, the second seed, pulled out due to his right hip injury and Johanna Konta’s promised run was curtailed before it even started with her early defeat in the first round.
Both British number ones had had high expectations for the final Grand Slam of the year in New York, and both were bitterly disappointed, no doubt.
The flag, however, was kept flying by a lone Brit, Kyle Edmund, into the third round of the men’s singles where he plays the latest teenage sensation, Denis Shapovalov from Canada, on Friday on the biggest tennis stage in the world – Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Gone from the singles events are Aljaz Bedene, Cameron Norrie and Heather Watson for another year, but there is still plenty of action to come in the doubles, mixed and juniors events with British involvement.
Jamie Murray leads the charge and is a real contender for one if not two titles, playing with Brazil’s Bruno Soares in the men’s doubles and Switzerland’s Martina Hingis in the mixed.
Seeded four in the doubles, Murray and Soares are already through to the second round after a 6-4 7-6(6) win over Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya, both from Austria.
Murray and Soares won the Australian and the US Open together last year and are therefore defending their title here in New York.
In the mixed, Murray and Hingis are the top seeds and the current Wimbledon champions together, Jamie also having won the title in 2007 with Jelena Jankovic.
The pair were in action on Thursday, scoring their first win against Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt and Anna-Lena Groenefeld from Germany, 6-1 6-4.
Heather Watson and the flying Finn Henri Kontinen, who won the mixed at Wimbledon in 2016 and reached the final again this year, are pairing up again and will probably play their opening match on Saturday.
Watson is also in the women’s doubles, playing with the American, Christina McHale, and the pair are scheduled to play the third match on Court 4 on Friday against the 3rd seeds, Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova from the Czech Republic.
Already out of the women’s doubles, however, are Naomi Broady and Anna Smith, who both lost their openers.
Broady partnered Darija Jursk from Croatia and they lost to the German pair of Mona Bartel and Carina Witthoeft, 7-6(5) 6-2; while Smith teamed up with America’s Nicole Melichar, losing to Raquel Atawo from the USA and her partner Germany’s Sabine Lisicki, 3-6 7-5 6-3.
Dominic Inglot and Neal Skupski competed in the men’s doubles but with other partners – Inglot with Daniel Nester from Canada, and Skupski with Guillermo Duran from Argentina.
Both lost their openers, Skupsi and Duran unfortunately drawing the second seeds, Lucasz Kubot from Poland and his partner, the Brazilian Marcelo Melo, and going down 6-3 3-6 6-3; while Inglot and Nestor fell to the Russian Pairing of Mikhail Elgin and Danill Medvedev, 6-4 7-5.
The second week of a Grand Slam brings together the best juniors in the world and qualifying matches are now being played on the days leading into the start of the main Boys and Girls draws.
While there is just one British representative among those trying to qualify in the girls – Ali Collins (7) – there are three boys going for broke in the hope of winning two rounds for a place in the main draw – Barnaby Smith (1), George Loffhagen (6) and Jack Draper (15); and all play on Friday.
Aidan McHugh, ranked 54 on the ITF Junior World Ranking, and Emily Appleton, ranked 17, are direct entries into their respective draws, which will start on Sunday.