Daniell, competing in his 11th successive Grand Slam tournament, and partner Marcelo Demoliner recorded an impressive 6-3 6-7 6-4 victory over Spain’s Pablo Carreño and Fernando Verdasco on Friday to set up a second-round showdown with Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.
Murray and Soares had beaten Daniell and then partner Brian Baker on their way to the title last year and once again came out on top but were made to work hard for their progress.
There were no breaks of serve during an evenly-matched first set that Murray and Soares eventually edged 7-4 in a tie-break after 62 minutes.
Daniell – coached by David Sammel and Ian MacDonald at the University of Bath Sports Training Village – and Demoliner broke in the third game of the second set but their opponents responded immediately to restore parity.
Murray and Soares broke again in the eighth game and that proved to be decisive as the champions served out to claim a 7-6 6-3 victory.
Fellow Team Bath MCTA player Anna Smith, appearing at her fourth Grand Slam of 2017, and partner Nicole Melichar were beaten 7-5 6-3 in a hard-fought first-round match against Raquel Atawo and Sabine Lisicki.
Team Bath MCTA is one of just four International High Performance Centres (IHPC) in the UK and the pinnacle of performance tennis at the University of Bath. Click here for more information.
Pictured: Team Bath MCTA Tennis players and coaches at the US Open including Marcus Daniell (front left) and partner Marcelo Demoliner (front right), Anna Smith (back right) and partner Nicole Melichar (front centre) and coach Dave Sammel (back centre).