It may not be long before Kyle Edmund is carrying the hopes of British tennis on the men’s side of the game.
The 22-year-old from Yorkshire has established himself as a top 50 player in the last year and, with Andy Murray out of action due to a hip injury, it is likely expectation levels will rise in the next few months.
Edmund has shown that he can deal with pressure in big matches, though, and his latest victory over world number 36 Robin Haase in the opening round of the US Open was evidence of that.
Last year, Edmund reached the fourth round in New York after an impressive victory over Richard Gasquet in round one.
This was a similarly emphatic display, as the Brit swept aside his higher ranked opponent 6-3 7-5 6-3 in an hour and 54 minutes.
Edmund will now meet American Steve Johnson, a player he beat at the Winston-Salem Open last week, in the second round.
Assured performance from Edmund
The most impressive aspect of Edmund’s triumph was the way he closed out the match and rarely looked like letting his advantage slip.
There have been times this year when the Brit has lost from commanding positions, yet he was unequivocal and assured throughout.
Edmund looked like a more complete player than in the past, with his slice backhand and dominant serve complimenting his lethal forehand.
Predictably most of the damage still came from the forehand wing, though it appeared more measured and controlled, leaving Haase bewildered and frustrated.
The Dutchman did arrive in New York in good form after reaching the semi-finals of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Montreal earlier this month.
Edmund, too, has played a lot of matches in the last few weeks after a run to the last four at the the Winston-Salem Open, where he eventually lost to world number 56 Damir Dzumhur.
Few break points for the Dutchman
The Brit made a quick start here, forcing Haase to save two break points in the fourth game of the match.
A couple of games later, Edmund made a breakthrough, breaching his opponent's serve for the first time to take a 5-3 lead.
It took three set points for Edmund to close out the opener, after a forehand clipped the top of the net and caught the baseline.
Haase challenged the call but replays showed that the ball was good.
Edmund didn’t face a break point in the first set but found himself 15-40 down at 2-3 in the second.
He rose to the occasion, finding two timely first serves in a crucial moment.
Second set proves decisive
Momentum swiftly swung, as Edmund moved ahead and then served for a two set lead at 5-4.
Playing with freedom, Haase broke back, however the Dutchman surrendered his serve immediately and Edmund took his chance.
An early break in the third moved Edmund to within touching distance of the finishing line.
The Brit continued to hold serve comfortably before winning the match on a Haase double fault.