Good to see a fellow Mississippian making some noise.
Qualifier Devin Britton spotted Australian Open Junior champion Bernard Tomic a set Monday afternoon, but his serve and volley game ultimately proved too confounding for the Australian, who fell 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 on another cloudless day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
In the opening set, Britton dropped his serve for the only time in the match, but there was no hint that he was going to abandon his net-rushing game. Tomic's forehand was flying all over the court, and Britton gave him no breathing room, making few unforced errors when there were baseline exchanges and dominating with his volleying at the net.
"I think my game style matched up perfectly with him," Britton said. "He likes to stay back and rally, keep a lot of balls in play, and I kind of took that away from him, really put some pressure on him, and he doesn't like that at all. Coming in to this match, I knew I had a pretty good shot at it, the way he plays and the way I play."
Britton broke to begin the third set and was holding his serve easily, but the outcome was probably decided when Britton got the second break to make it 5-2. Although Britton didn't approach the net regularly when Tomic was serving, his willingness to finish a point there had Tomic feeling the pressure. Tomic had two game points at 2-4, but couldn't convert and Britton could serve out the match. At 5-2, 30-30, Tomic hit yet another forehand into the net, and at match point, Britton completed the upset with an ace.
"I had to serve well, which I did, so I'm pretty happy with that," said the 17-year-old from Mississippi.
Britton's opponent in the second round will be fellow American qualifier Matt Kandath, who was down 3-0 to Italy's Giacomo Miccini in the first set, but came back for a 7-5, 6-4 victory. Kandath defeated Britton in the first round of the ITF Grade 1 in Montreal last week, 7-6, 6-1.