| By Brian Coleman

Frenchman Gael Monfils (pictured above) cruised past his compatriot Jeremy Chardy to reach the U.S. Open second round on Wednesday, moving through with a 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-4 win on Court 17.

The 18th seeded Monfils ripped 37 winners to just 25 unforced errors and was efficient with his serve, winning 81 percent of his first service points and firing 18 aces in total.

Up next for Monfils is a matchup with American Donald Young, who ousted Maximilian Marterer of Germany 6-3, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4. Young converted on five of his eight break point chances including two in the fourth set to wrap up the victory.

“I just love playing here. The crowd is awesome. It’s always packed when I play. I love playing here,” Young said when asked about why he plays his best tennis at the U.S. Open. “So it’s awesome. Then you have good memories here, so when you step on court you automatically feel good about yourself. So it’s a great feeling.”

Monfils and Young have split their only two previous meetings but the most recent one came in 2011.

Taylor Fritz recorded his first win at a Grand Slam as he rolled past Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. The young American played composed tennis as he saved eight break points throughout the match while converting on five of his own to win the straight sets match in under two hours.

I think I have had some tough Grand Slam draws in the past. I have been playing a lot of good players. I feel like the way I have played in a lot of my matches I would have beaten a lot of other players,” Fritz said of his prior Grand Slam matches. “I think it just wasn't really meant to be a lot of the other times, like, against Jack, Isner, or Muller or Wawrinka or any other ones I played, you know. So, you know, I just approached it with nothing to lose, not put too much pressure on myself, play my game.”

Awaiting Fritz in the second round will be sixth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem, who concluded his match from yesterday on Grandstand in just about 20 minutes, wrapping up a routine 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Australia’s Alex de Minaur.

“It was really different, the conditions, between yesterday and today, and my goal was to break immediately, and that’s what I did,” Thiem said. “The biggest thing I have to do now is probably to just continue like this, because the first set was not good. It was a pretty nervous start, but then it really got better, and I’ll try to start off tomorrow like I finished yesterday and today.”

Former champion Juan Martin del Potro kicked off his U.S. Open run with a 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(5) win over Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen. Del Potro ripped 32 winners and lost just one service game throughout the match.

Up next for the 2009 winner is Spain’s Adrian Menendez-Maceiras who ousted American wild card Patrick Kypson in straight sets.

Tomas Berdych, a 2012 semifinalist in Flushing Meadows, got past American Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(4). Berdych moves on to play Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, who notched a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 triumph over Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.

Other winners in the early day session were Leonardo Mayer, who as a Lucky Loser upset 26th seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet, and Australia’s John Millman who upset his compatriot Nick Kyrgios. Seventh-seed Grigor Dimitrov and ninth-seed David Goffin also pushed their way into the second round.

Credit all photos to Brian Coleman

Tomas Berdych, a 2012 semifinalist in Flushing Meadows, got past American Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(4) in action Wednesday afternoon at the 2017 U.S. Open


Brian Coleman

Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at brianc@usptennis.com