France’s Richard Gasquet produced a superb performance to send sixth seed Nikolay Davydenko crashing out of the US Open in the second round.
Gasquet, who won the junior title at Flushing Meadows in 2002, claimed his first grand slam win of the year over Simon Gruel in the first round after early exits in Australia and Paris and missing Wimbledon with a rib injury.
And the enigmatic 24-year-old carried on where he had left off against the German, dismissing Davydenko by the same scoreline of 6-3 6-4 6-2.
Davydenko, who missed 11 weeks of the season after breaking his wrist in March, is the highest seed to fall in New York so far, joining seventh seed Tomas Berdych and ninth seed Andy Roddick in making an early exit.
But as much as Davydenko was out of touch, Gasquet produced some of his best tennis since his return from a drugs ban and will now face Kevin Anderson in the third round.
Anderson has never faced Gasquet but will be upbeat about his chances after defeating Thomaz Bellucci in five sets and is 2/1 to knock out the Frenchman.
Gasquet seems like he’s finding the form that led him to seventh in the world and is 4/11 to beat the South African as he targets a place in the fourth round and a possible tie with Gael Monfils or Janko Tipsarevic.
Either Mardy Fish or Novak Djokovic could be possible quarter-final opponents for Gasquet, and he will have to prevail over those two and Roger Federer if he is to make his first Grand Slam final.
Gasquet is 50/1 to win the US Open. See the full US Open tennis betting market here.