British number one Kyle Edmund is out of the US Open while compatriot Heather Watson was another early casualty on Monday. Edmund was seeded 16th for the year’s final Grand Slam but lost in four sets to Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi.
Lorenzi, ranked 94th in the world, pulled off a 4-6 6-4 7-5 6-1 triumph in the blistering New York heat and energy-sapping humidity.
Australian Open semi-finalist Edmund took the opening set but surrendered the second only to cramp up in the third, affecting his movement on court.
Fitness issues continued to dog the Brit as he appeared to be struggling with a groin issue at times during the three hour 12 minute contest.
Edmund was clearly unhappy and called for the trainer but it was to no avail as Lorenzi sent down eight of his 20 aces in the final set to blow his opponent off court.
Watson has a dreadful record at the US Open and her latest loss, 6-1 3-6 6-3 to Ekaterina Makarova, was the eighth successive time she has fallen at the first hurdle in New York.
The Guernsey-born star won five games in a row from 3-1 down in the second set to give herself a chance, but a single break in the decider was enough to give the Russian victory.