Duckworth hits pay dirt in New York

·2-min read

James Duckworth has denied Chris O'Connell to take the spoils in another all-Australian first-round match-up at the US Open in New York.

It may not have captured the attention and fanfare of Nick Kyrgios's centre-court victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis on Monday night.

But Duckworth's 4-6 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-3 defeat of O'Connell on Tuesday was no less significant to the 30-year-old journeyman.

As well as a second-round opportunity against British 20th seed Dan Evans, Duckworth has guaranteed himself the second-biggest pay day of his stop-start grand slam career.

Duckworth will pocket a cheque for at least $US121,000 ($A168,000) for reaching the second round at Flushing Meadows for only the second time in seven attempts.

He is also set for an important rankings boost, provisionally expected to climb 12 spots to No.71 in the world, well back inside the cut-off mark for direct entry to future grand slams.

These are big rewards for a resilient campaigner who has endured 10 rounds of foot, elbow, shoulder and hip surgery to keep his career going.

"Yeah, it's a nice bonus," Duckworth said.

"My fiancee text me after the match and said 'well done, you've paid for the wedding'."

Duckworth isn't getting hitched until the end of next year and in the meantime will continue investing in his tennis.

He has coach Wayne Arthurs to pay. Then there's the medical bills.

"Because of my body I've been looking to get as much physio help as possible so it will go towards that," Duckworth said.

"And I suppose my fiancee will try and steal some and put it towards the wedding."

An upset win over Evans, who is ranked 60 places higher at No.23 in the world, would ensure Duckworth leaves the Big Apple with a minimum of $US188,000 ($A$275,000).

But it's the thrill of the chase that satisfies Duckworth most.

"I play the game to win," he said.

"I love competing and I really enjoy the aspect of just trying to get better, trying to improve my game.

"Wayne and I are constantly going back and forth about different things. The little one-percenters. That gives me a lot of enjoyment as well. Just improving."