Inspired Australian wildcard Rinky Hijikata has dedicated his watershed second-round US Open win to former school mates swept up in another deadly shooting in America.
Continuing his breakout season, Hijikata crushed the vastly higher-ranked Marton Fucsovics 6-1 6-2 6-1 to surge into the last 32 of a grand slam for the first time.
The 22-year-old broke the Hungarian seven times without dropping his own serve even once in a thunderous display that set up a huge third-round opportunity against China's world No.67 Zhizhen Zhang.
"It was a pretty complete performance," Hijikata beamed.
"I was trying to dictate the points as much as I could but I felt like I wasn't playing too risky at the same time.
"It's rare when those days come, when you feel like you kind of have it on the string."
Hijikata's breakthrough victory came just two days after the Sydneysider was left rocked by a fatal shooting at his girlfriend's college, the University of North Carolina where he also spent two years studying.
"Yesterday I spoke to a bunch of my teammates and mates back in Chapel Hill and even today I had a lot of alumni and supporters and a few of my teammates out there supporting me," he said.
"I love UNC. I just really wanted to do everything I could to represent the university well today, especially with as much support I got.
"I was pretty proud of the way I went out there and went about my business.
"When I saw the UNC supporters out there and all the Aussie supporters also, when you have that many people barracking for you it's kind of hard not to give it 110 per cent. Anything less I feel like I would be letting them down."
Hijikata will pocket the biggest cheque of his career, a guaranteed $US191,000 ($A298,250), after eclipsing his previous best grand slam run.
That came at this year's Australian Open in Melbourne, where he reached the second round before also claiming the doubles title, his maiden major, partnering countryman Jason Kubler.
Hijikata's latest victory pushed his world No.110 ranking up to a live standing of 92, one spot below Kubler.
On Saturday (AEST), he will have a golden opportunity to earn even more money and rankings points against Zhang, who created a slice of history in eliminating last year's runner-up Casper Ruud in an epic second-round five-setter.
In beating the seventh-seeded Ruud 6-4 5-7 6-2 0-6 6-2, Zhang became the first Chinese man ever to defeat a top-five player.
"Triple Z, I have come across him quite a bit this year and he is also a quality player that has had a breakthrough year," Hijikata said.
"He had run at the French so obviously he knows what he has to do to win at these big tournaments.
"It is going to be similar as today. I am going to have to come up with some really good stuff to give myself a chance but I'm looking forward to the challenge."