Andy Murray overcame a confident start by young American wildcard Emilio Nava to reach the US Open third round for the first time since 2016.
Britain’s Murray missed chances before losing a long first set but fought back to win 5-7 6-3 6-1 6-0 in New York.
The 35-year-old, who plays Italian 13th seed Matteo Berrettini next, is joined in the last 32 by Jack Draper after the Briton stunned Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Draper, 20, beat the Canadian sixth seed 6-4 6-4 6-4 in an impressive fashion.
But compatriot Harriet Dart was unable to seal her place in the next round after losing 6-4 6-0 to Hungary’s Dalma Galfi.
Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans could also move into the men’s third round on Thursday, but there are no British women remaining in the singles after Emma Raducanu lost at the first hurdle of her title defense on Tuesday.
A deep run at a major tournament has long been one of former world number one Murray’s biggest targets, with Scot’s body eventually starting to hold up for longer periods than in recent seasons.
Since having the hip surgery that he feared could end his career in 2019, Murray had only reached the third round at a Grand Slam event once when he lost to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov at Wimbledon in 2021.
Eventually, he reached the same stage again at Flushing Meadows, where he won his first major title in 2012, after wearing down Nava.
“Physically this is the best I’ve felt in the past few years,” Murray said.
“My movement is by far the best it has been in a long time and it has obviously been a big part of my game.
“I feel like I’m getting closer to where I want to be.”
Murray moved into the second round with a comfortable win against 24th seed Francisco Cerundolo, which was the first time he had won a match at a major in straight sets since 2017.
But 20-year-old wildcard Nava had to come through a grueling five-setter and their contrasting energy levels eventually proved a key difference.