While all eyes were on Serena Williams over on Arthur Ashe, Draper ruthlessly got on with business on Court Nine, claiming a 6-4 6-3 6-3 victory over Finn Ruusuvuori.
Although this was Draper’s first senior match at Flushing Meadows, such has been his meteoric rise this season that he was already viewed as someone to avoid in the draw.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) August 30, 2022
The same could be said of Ruusuvuori, who is ranked four places higher than Draper at 49 and defeated the 20-year-old Londoner at Queen’s this summer.
But here Draper showed the pace of his improvement by seizing the opportunities that came his way.
He converted all five break points he created and dropped serve just once himself to book an intriguing second-round date against Canadian Auger-Aliassime.
Draper said: “It’s my third grand slam, second on merit. I’d say it’s a really important win for me. He had me at Queen’s, he played an incredible match there, so there were definitely doubts in my mind before the match.
“But I was proud of the way I handled my first time here, thought I played a solid match. I think I can still improve tennis-wise but mentally and physically it was a good performance.”