Ivo Karlovic made a nice transition from outdoor clay courts in Quito to indoor hard in New York, beating Jared Donaldson 6-4 7-6 in an hour and 20 minutes. Croatian veteran did everything right in his games, firing 20 aces and never facing a break point, dropping 12 points behind his initial shot. Jared was unable to follow that pace with his second serve, getting broken in the very first game of the match and having to play against six break points in total in three different games.
The young American stayed in touch in set number two but he squandered a 3-1 lead in the tie break to end on the losing side, sending Karlovic into the last 16. Ivo was off to a perfect start, hitting a volley winner at the net to break Jared's serve at the start of the match and he was untouchable in his service games, losing just five points to bring the opener home safely in 28 minutes.
Donaldson saved two break points at the start of the second set and he stayed on the same level with Ivo in the next nine games to set up an interesting closure of the set. Karlovic had a chance to score a break in game 11 after a volley winner but Jared saved it with a nice smash, and the set had to be completed in the tie break.
Donaldson had an early lead following a good return in the third point but Ivo pulled the mini-break back two points later after forcing an error from his young opponent. Another volley winner at the net gave Karlovic the lead in the ninth point and he sealed the deal with another one two points later to book his place in round two.
In one of the most expected first round clashes, Frances Tiafoe took down the world's leading junior and Australian Open champion Sebastian Korda, who made his ATP debut here in New York. Frances needed an hour and 43 minutes to score a 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory, saving four out of seven break points and creating no less than 17 break points. Korda dropped 44% of the points in his games and he managed to save "only" 12 break points, which wasn't enough to give him the more positive result.
The match kicked off in a rather shaky fashion and three breaks of serve, two from Frances who grabbed an early lead. He broke at 15 in the first game of the match after a forced error from Korda and again in game three when the 17-year-old sent another backhand long.
Sebastian needed a little bit of luck to get his name on the scoreboard with a break in game two and he started to play well from game five, breaking back with a backhand down the line return winner in game eight that leveled the score at 4-4.
The momentum was on his side and he broke again in game 10 to clinch the opener 6-4, moving a set away from his first ATP win. Tiafoe took charge in set number two, he failed to convert four break points in the opening game but the break was in his hands after forcing an error from a teenager in game five.
Korda saved two more break points in game seven to at least remain in touch and he got the opportunity to break back in game eight and make the set more interesting. Tiafoe fends them off with two great winners and he took the set with a service winner in game 10, leveling the score at 1-1 and forcing a decider.
The impulse was on his side now and he lost just five points on serve in set number three to keep all the pressure on the other side of the net, Korda couldn't deal with it and he gave his serve away in game three after a costly double fault.
A backhand down the line winner delivered another break of serve for Frances to open up a 4-1 lead and he wrapped up a win with a service winner in game eight, happy with the way he performed against the upcoming youngster.