Alexander Zverev made hard work of his US Open first-round victory over little-known Darian King, but it was his sartorial nod to Bjorn Borg that caught the eye at Flushing Meadows.
Zverev sported knee-high socks and a striped head band as well as a piece of pinstriped Adiddas knitwear designed by R&B star Pharrell Williams.
Despite looking the part in his 1970s gear, the much vaunted 20-year-old struggled with his game particularly the booming serve that has become his trademark.
In the absence of Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka and, the German fourth-seed has solid claims to reach the business of end of the season’s final Grand Slam, but it took until the early hours to see off the world number 168 7-6(9) 7-5 6-4.
Zverev has won five ATP World Tour titles this season, but will need to dramatically reduce the 64 unforced errors he committed against King if he is to go all the way in New York.
“Obviously Darian came out playing really good tennis and I couldn’t find my rhythm,” he said on court after he finished the nearly three hour match.”It was an entertaining first set.”
Zverev will face 20-year-old Borna Coric of Croatia in the second-round., another of the tour’s highly-rated young prospects, who advanced with a 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/2) 6-2 triumph over Czech Jiri Vesely.
Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza earned her first victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium with a 6-0 6-3 win over Varvara Lepchenko, while twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova scraped into round two with a 7-5 7-5 win over Serb Jelena Jankovic.