World number 101 and 2016 US Open winner Stan Wawrinka has won his eighth match in a row in New York, ousting the 8th seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 6-2 7-5 in two hours and 24 minutes for his fourth win over the Bulgarian and the second in a row after Wimbledon.
This was only the 12th win of the season for Stan who had to miss the US Open a year ago after a knee injury that required two surgeries, earning his sixth triumph since the start of Toronto and raising his level drastically in the last couple of weeks.
Wawrinka clinched his 133rd Grand Slam win with a solid performance over the struggling rival, taking 40% of the points on the return and breaking Grigor five times from 14 opportunities. Dimitrov earned eight break points but his lack of confidence is evident in the crucial points, converting only one and challenging Stan only in the deciding set.
They had the same number of winners but Grigor made more unforced errors, dropping seven games in a row from the middle of the opening set before keeping the pace with the Swiss in set number three before Stan broke him twice in a row to seal the deal in straight sets.
Wawrinka saved a break point in the opening game and he broke Dimitrov in game eight to move 5-3 up, clinching the opener after a deuce in the following game. He was the dominant figure at the start of the second set, racing into a 4-0 lead to rattle off seven straight games and Grigor had to save three set points in the seventh game to at least prolong the set.
Stan needed four more set points before he grabbed this part of the match 6-2, moving closer to the finish line. Dimitrov was the better player on the court in the third set but he wasted five break points before finally breaking Stan for a 5-3.
Serving for the set, Grigor lost his serve and that game sealed his fate in this match, suffering another break in game 11 and allowing Stan to cross the finish line with a hold at 15 in game 12 for another much-needed win on his comeback trail.
A well-deserved wild card allowed Jason Kubler to enter the US Open main draw directly and he used it with both hands, toppling Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 6-3 6-4 in two hours and seven minutes for his first Grand Slam win. The Aussie was more effective on his first serve and he gave his serve away only twice from four chances the Spaniard created.
This was the first tournament for Roberto since Gstaad and he was far from his best, dropping 44% of the points in his games and suffering six breaks from 14 opportunities he had to play against, unable to prolong the match or win at least a set.
Jason kicked off the match in a great style, sailing through his service games and breaking Bautista Agut after a poor forehand from the Spaniard in game two. Serving for the opener, Kubler held at 30 in game nine to move 6-3 ahead, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the match.
They traded breaks in games two and three in the second set and Kubler saved a break point with a service winner in game four to level the score at 2-2. From 3-2 down, the Aussie won four straight games to clinch another set 6-3, breaking in games seven and nine and moving closer to the finish line.
Roberto never found his rhythm and he fell 3-1 down in the third set after a backhand down the line winner from Jason. Serving for the match, Kubler got broken in game nine but he crossed the finish line with a backhand down the line winner in game 10 that gave him another break and a place in round two. First round results: