Former world No. 5 Kevin Anderson fired 49 aces and managed to scrape past Czech Jiri Vesely in his opener at the US Open. Anderson, now ranked at No. 77 in the world, edged out Vesely 7-6 (1) 4-6 3-6 7-6 (5) 7-6 7-4. After falling down by two sets to one, Anderson was untouchable on his serve and that was the key in his comeback win over Vesely.
"I think I served at a very consistently high level, and especially in the tie-breaks. I probably served some of my best through them and obviously that's really important," Anderson said, per the ATP website.
"Overall, just really, really pleased to get through."
Anderson survived a tight Vesely challenge
Not a single break point was seen in the first set but Anderson absolutely dominated the tie-break to win the opener.
The first break of the match was seen in the 10th game of the second set, when Vesely broke Anderson to win the second set and level the match at one set apiece. Vesely continued his good play in the third as he broke Anderson in the eighth game, before serving out for the third set in the ninth game.
Both players firmly held on to their serve and the fourth set had to be resolved in a tie-break -- in which Anderson realized his second set point to force a decider. After winning the fourth set, Anderson had a chance to start the fifth set with a break but Vesely saved a break point in the opening game.
As not a single break point was seen in the rest of the set, the match went into a third tie-break. In the third-set tie-break, Anderson converted his first match point to claim a tight win over Vesely. "A pretty exciting match out there, playing in a fifth-set tie-break," Anderson said.
"[There] was great crowd support towards the end. I really felt a lot of people behind me, which was really enjoyable to play in."