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American dream

Spared at the last moment by Hurricane Irene, the US Open got under way in New York last Monday.

Averting potential disaster, however, did not prevent the six-strong Portuguese contingent almost being blown off course at Flushing Meadows as early as the opening round.

Michelle Brito, Maria Joao Koehler, Joao Sousa and Gastao Elias all failed to come through qualifying while Frederico Gil became one of the first day one casualties when going down 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 to world No22 Alexandr Dolgopolov.

That left Faro’s Portuguese No1 Rui Machado facing the task of defending the national honour against Dutch world No42 Robin Haase on Wednesday afternoon as the Algarve Resident was going to press.

If successful, Britain’s Andy Murray would be the Algarvean’s most likely second round opponent.