British ace Lily Miyazaki reaches the second round of the US Open by beating Russia’s Margarita Betova as the 27-year-old finally wins her first main draw match in a Grand Slam
- Lily Miyazaki is through to the second round of the US Open after Monday’s win
- The 27-year-old beat Russia’s Margarita Betova in straight sets in America
- Miyazaki benefitted after earning herself one of the kindest draws available
Britain’s Lily Miyazaki reached the second round of the US Open on Monday night, and would not need her maths degree to calculate that she has more than doubled her prize money for the whole season to date.
The GB number seven, who had come through three qualifying matches, has guaranteed herself more than £98,000 by winning her first main draw match in a Grand Slam at the age of 27.
She overcame Russia’s Margarita Betova 6-3 6-3, and will now face the reigning Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, showing the way for the six British singles players who will play on day two.
The University of Oaklahoma graduate, who also has a Masters in Information Technology, is so far following the path forged two years ago by Emma Raducanu, who beat Bencic en route to the title.
‘Coming in here I didn’t expect to be at this stage,’ admitted Miyazaki. ‘ Playing qualifying definitely helped me because I felt really confident with the conditions. I was nervous today and wasn’t playing great, I’m a bit lost for words.’
Britain qualifier Lily Miyazaki reached the second round of the US Open on Monday night
Miyazaki won her first Grand Slam main draw match at the age of 27 years-old
Miyazaki said later that she was unaware of exactly how much the last week has been worth to her: ‘I haven’t looked at the prize money breakdown but for sure it definitely helps financially and obviously points-wise with my ranking.
‘The financial side is huge, because obviously tennis is a very expensive sport, we travel around a lot. Maybe now I can travel a bit more with a coach, things like that. Because when I’m playing at the ITF level I tend to travel on my own. Because I have been traveling on my own a lot, I have managed to do it just prize money alone up to this point.’
The well-travelled Miyazaki moved to Switzerland from Tokyo when she was five before settling in London aged ten. It turns out she met Bencic many years ago: ‘When I lived in Switzerland, I played her when I was about nine years old and she must have been about seven or eight. I remember even back then she was taking the ball so early, half volleying, drive volleying, everything. I expect a really tough match.’
Miyazaki earned herself what was one of the kindest draws available, facing an opponent coming back from a career break after giving birth.
Miyazaki beat Russian Margarita Betova in straight sets in New York on Monday
Under her maiden name of Gasparayan, Betova once got as high as number 41 but having only played at Wimbledon this year she languishes below 1000 in the rankings, and it showed.
Nonetheless world number 199 Miyazaki put her compact groundstroking game to good use on remote outside Court Eight, and had made her own luck by successfully tackling last week’s preliminaries.
World number four Holger Rune was the biggest casualty early on the first day. Displeased by being put on humble Court Five his poor post-Wimbledon form continued as he went down 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-2 to Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena.