MATHS graduate Lily Miyazaki has found the winning formula at a Grand Slam for the very first time.
The tennis star – also a keen pianist – switched nationality from the country of her birth, Japan, to fly the flag for Great Britain in March 2022.
That came after the star moved from Tokyo to London aged ten via five years in Switzerland, with her parents Akiko and Yoichi putting their roots down in Surrey.
Japanese nationals are unable to have dual citizenship, so she sacrificed that to represent Britain.
And now the late bloomer, aged 27, can lay claim to her maiden main-draw major victory – a year on from a gutting three-set defeat to Caroline Garcia at Wimbledon.
After coming through qualifying at the US Open, 5ft 5ins Miyazaki hit all the right notes as she secured a comprehensive 6-3 6-3 win over Russian mum Margarita Betova on Court 8.
And she will take on Swiss No15 seed Belinda Bencic in the second round – who Emma Raducanu beat on her way to US Open glory in 2021 after successfully flying through qualifying.
Miyazaki said: “I am lost for words right now. Coming to this tournament, I didn’t expect to be at this stage.
“I played Belinda when I was about nine years old and she must have been about seven or eight.
“It is definitely very different from Wimbledon but when it is quiet it can get into your head. When there are so many distractions it can help.
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“My phone is blowing up. It’s in my pocket and I can feel it going right now.
“I’ve literally only messaged my parents and one of my friends as well. I’ll get around to that later.”
Miyazaki is guaranteed at least £98,000 in prize money from Flushing Meadows – a third of her £277,202 career earnings helped by five ITF-level titles after ten years on tour.
And the world No198, set to rise at least 40 places, will no doubt be adding that into her budgeting spreadsheet to crunch the numbers.
Like many British tennis rising stars, Miyazaki undertook a scholarship in America.
She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a mathematics degree and then did a Masters in IT management.
And the British No7 has proven to have the creative talent to match her intellectual mind.
Away from the tennis court, Miyazaki appears to have inherited some of the piano skills of her concert pianist mother, posting a Christmas duet on Instagram.
She is also a keen golfer and enjoys travelling, with recent holidays back to Japan and Portugal amid her busy tennis schedule.