Opening night’s all-American battle provided one of the surefire shocks of the tournament with world No. 12 Taylor Fritz dumped out by unranked Brandon Holt, who won his first ever Grand Slam match.
Holt earned himself a nice reward beyond the euphoria of victory, picking up $121,000 for the first round win.
The USC standout defeated the highly-fancied Fritz 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 during an absorbing encounter inside Grandstand Monday night.
Holt had to qualify for the US Open tournament itself, only gaining passage into the main draw last Friday, where he almost fell asleep during his rain-delayed final-round qualifier – which occurred while he was on match point.
Brandon Holt has captured the nation’s hearts following victory over world No. 12 Taylor Fritz
He earned $80,000 for that feat, while his tournament total now stands at $121,000, and that will rise again to $188,000 if he is able to turn over Argentinian Pedro Cachin on Wednesday.
‘I was excited to be playing my first main draw match,’ Holt said postgame.
‘Had pretty good momentum from playing three qualies [sic] matches in a row. I felt pretty match tough.
‘I had a lot of fun, a lot of friends and family were on the court, in a big stadium. Biggest match I’ve played in so far.’
Holt and his two-time US Open winning mother, Tracy Austin, celebrate his first slam victory
By his side was his mother and star in her own right, Tracy Austin. Following the victory, Austin cradled her son in her arms as the pair celebrated jubilantly courtside.
Austin is a two-time US Open winner having triumphed in 1979 and 1981.
Her son, ranked No. 303 in the world, defeated Fritz in dominant fashion, leaving the top-ranked American 0-3 against his countrymen at Flushing Meadows.
The pair first met during a USTA Boys 10s Southern California Sectional in 2018, which Fritz ultimately won.
The Holt contingent will regroup for Wednesday’s second round clash with Pedro Cachin
I’ve known him a long time,’ Holt said. ‘More than anything I think he’s been someone I can look up to.
‘He works really hard, has been doing really well, and is not shy to give advice and help me out when I wasn’t doing very well.’
The hometown crowd will undeniably be behind the Californian once his second clash against Cachin arrives.
Many across the nation hope Cachin’s tournament will also be Holt’ed.
Fritz and Holt have competed against each other for over a decade since meeting in 2008