Pospisil looks to back up 1st-round win (photos)

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Vasek Pospisil pulled off his most impressive victory in years in the first round of the US Open.

But tennis being the unforgiving sport that it is, he has to come back Thursday and back it up.

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The 29-year-old Canadian, less than eight months removed from back surgery, beat No. 9 seed Karen Khachanov in five gruelling sets Tuesday.

He survived a drop in energy in the fourth set, and came back to take it in five.

On Thursday, he will try to get to the third round of the US Open for the first time in his career.

In seven previous main-draw appearances, Pospisil has lost in the first round four times and in the second round three times.

Some of those first-round losses were tough ones. Three years in a row, from 2013-15, he lost five setters. The conditions in New York, with the heat and humidity, have already been the biggest challenge for the Canadian.

The worst one was the first one – in 2013, after winning the first two sets, Pospisil went down in a fifth-set tiebreak to Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil.

The benign conditions Tuesday definitely worked in his favor against Khachanov, something he freely admitted to.

It’ll be warmed, more humid and windier later Thursday afternoon. But it’s been much, much worse.

Sandgren and Pospisil go way back

Pospisil

The Canadian and the American first met … all the way back in 2007, in the first round of the Eddie Herr junior event just before the Orange Bowl.

Sandgren, who’s a year younger, won that one.

They seem to know each other fairly well.

And, like most of the North American players, Pospisil speaks very highly of Sandgren as a person.

Two years later, they met in the first round of qualifying on the entry-level Futures circuit, in Harlingen, Texas. (Radu Albot and Nikoloz Basilashvili were also in that qualifying draw, but didn’t make it through).

Pospisil won that one, and qualified.

They also met in the qualifying at the ATP Tour event in Beijing last fall – a match also won by Pospisil.

Doubles postponed

Pospisil and Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, who share a manager, were due to make their doubles debut Wednesday.

But all of the doubles matches were cancelled because of the weather.

Because Pospisil is playing singles in the day, that match against the legendary Bryan brothers, won’t happen until at least Friday.

(The same is true for Pospisil’s countryman Denis Shapovalov, who is teaming up with Rohan Bopanna. They are drawn against No. 4 seeds Mahut and Herbert).

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