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At US Open, Estrella Continues Dream Season

New York, U.S.A.

Victor Estrella Burgos© Getty ImagesVictor Estrella Burgos, 34, outlasts 17-year-old Borna Coric Thursday.

Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic added to his banner season, today notching a 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win against qualifier Borna Coric, 17 years his junior, in the US Open second round.

The triumph pushed the 34-year-old Estrella into his deepest run in a Grand Slam, and sets up a clash with fifth seed Milos Raonic.

“I had a lot of emotions while serving for the match and serving at match point,” said Estrella, “I cannot believe that I'm in this situation. I was going to make the third round of the US Open. I was a little nervous, and it was very, very emotional for me. Thank God I got the point. After that, I got more [teary-eyed].”

The 17-year age difference between Estrella and his Croatian opponent is the biggest age difference in a US Open match in the Open Era.

With the third-round berth, the 80th-ranked Estrella is guaranteed to rise past his career-high No. 79 (11 August) in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Read: Estrella Burgos 10 Questions

Estrella made history in March by becoming the the first player from the Dominican Republic to enter the Top 100. The rankings boost led to a direct acceptance into the Roland Garros main draw, sending the right-hander into the record books as the first Dominican player to compete in a Grand Slam.

The significance of these achievements is not lost on the Santiago native.

“This [win] makes me very strong because I know where I’m from," said Estrella. "I am from the Dominican Republic. I think I’m paving the way for other players. This make me more hungry to do better and better. That makes me a winner, not just for today.

“[Dominicans] are very happy. This is very special for me, to have come a very, very long way," Estrella added. "I had no idea before, when I was 18 years old, about this kind of tournament. But now I'm enjoying it so much. This makes me like every day of my career - doesn't matter my age. Every time I go on the court, it makes me stronger."

Coric, 17, last year the US Open junior champion, and a quarter-finalist in Umag this year, advanced through qualifying to reach his first main draw at a major. Getting To Know: Borna Coric

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