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US Open 2023: Lily Miyazaki wins on New York main-draw debut

Lily Miyazaki hits a return
Lily Miyazaki was making her second main-draw appearance at a Grand Slam after receiving a wildcard for Wimbledon in 2022

US Open 2023

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 28 August-10 September

Coverage: Daily live text and radio commentaries across the BBC Sport website, app, BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra

British qualifier Lily Miyazaki says earning £98,000 in prize money from her US Open first-round victory means she may not have to travel around the world on her own to play.

Miyazaki, 27, earned her first Grand Slam win with a confident display against Russia's Margarita Betova.

"The financial side is huge because obviously tennis is a very expensive sport," she said.

"Maybe now I can travel a bit more with a coach."

British number seven Miyazaki won 6-3 6-3 on the opening day in New York and her reward is a second-round match against Swiss 15th seed Belinda Bencic.

Miyazaki, who was born in Japan and moved to London aged 10, had never previously qualified for a major.

She usually plays on the second-tier ITF Tour and often travels to tournaments by herself.

Miyazaki shares her coach Craig Veal with fellow British player Jodie Burrage, with both of them watching the world number 198 at Flushing Meadows over the past week.

After coming through three qualifying matches to reach the main draw, she continued that form against an out-of-sorts Betova.

"Coming into the tournament I didn't expect to be at this stage. I'm so happy and proud of myself," said Miyazaki, who began representing Great Britain last year.

"For sure it definitely helps financially and obviously points-wise with my ranking."

Watched on by a healthy number of British fans, Miyazaki played solidly throughout and forced Betova into a number of mistakes.

When Miyazaki sealed victory on her second match point, she broke out into a beaming smile and lapped up the appreciation of the crowd, some of who were waving Union Jack flags.

'My phone is blowing up with messages'

Miyazaki's greater confidence against a Russian opponent who has not won this season showed throughout.

She regularly posed Betova problems with her consistent returning, using the cross-court forehand in particular to good effect in a smart tactical performance.

Betova reached a career-high ranking of 41 in 2016 before a serious knee injury derailed her career.

She also took time away from the tour to have her son in late 2021 and, now outside the top 1,000, is playing under a protected ranking.

After Betova broke for 3-1 in the first set, she was unable to consolidate in her next service game before a poor volley and double fault at 3-3 swung the momentum towards Miyazaki.

Winning five successive games put Miyazaki ahead and she showed composure to fight back from 0-40 down at 2-2 in the second set before decisively breaking Betova in the sixth game.

Unable to take a match point on Betova's serve at 5-2, she took another opportunity on her own serve to become the first Briton to reach the second round.

"My phone is blowing up. It's in my pocket and I can feel it going right now," said Miyazaki, who has an undergraduate degree in maths and did an IT management master's which focuses on data science.

"I've literally only messaged my parents and one of my friends as well.

"They're over the moon, they have obviously sacrificed a lot for me at a young age."

Six other Britons - Andy Murray, Katie Boulter, Cameron Norrie, Burrage, Dan Evans and Jack Draper - play their opening matches at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.