Cameron Norrie joins Dan Evans to make four British men in US Open third round

Cameron Norrie helped make British tennis history by beating Joao Sousa in the second round of the US Open.

Norrie joined Andy Murray, Jack Draper and Dan Evans in round three, marking the first time four British men have advanced this far in New York since the dawn of the era of professional tennis in the 1960s.

It is also only the second time in the Open era that four British men have reached the third round at a Grand Slam, following Wimbledon 25 years ago.

From the quartet, Norrie went into the tournament as a banker due to his incredible consistency and top 8 placement and didn’t disappoint.

After keeping a cool head against Benoit Paire’s faltering attention span in round one, Norrie proved too strong for Portugal’s Sousa in a more conventional contest, winning 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

The only moment of concern came late in the third set when Norrie was forced to salvage a set point at 5-6, but he kept ahead in the tie-break to come through safely.

The victory means that the seventh seed, who next meets young Dane Holger Rune, has already achieved his best performance in New York and hopefully there is much more to come.

(Getty Images)

Previously, Evans continued his stellar record at the US Open by beating James Duckworth to reach the third round for the fifth time.

The British number two has failed to make the last 32 only once, when he was in the peloton and progressed to the fourth round 12 months ago.

After losing just six games to Jiri Vesely in the first round, Evans looked set to enjoy another comfortable afternoon against Australia’s Duckworth as he took a two-set lead.

But Duckworth, ranked 83, earned his first break point of the game in the ninth game of the third set and had an early break in the fourth set before Evans hit back for a 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-4 to gain victory.

The 20th seed didn’t hide his delight at the end, spreading his arms wide and running to the net after getting his first match point over the line with a backhand pass.

(Getty Images)

Evans said: “It got difficult. I was in control and then I found he played very well to get back in.

“I was just happy to get off, really. It was nice to win that match to get into the third round. It’s a match I’m supposed to win on paper. My goal was to get where I needed to go in the seeding spots, get my work done, and then move on from there.”

Evans had plenty of support, including from Tim Henman, who watched on the sidelines.

The two have very similar playstyles and Evans said: “I talk to him quite often. He’s obviously a reassuring figure on the court’s side. He’s probably about to get me a coaching fine pretty quickly.

Evans now takes on former champion Marin Cilic for a place in the last 16.

Another historic moment will come after the tournament when Draper, along with Norrie, Evans and Murray, make four British men in the top 50 for the first time since the rankings were formalized in 1973.

The 20-year-old started the season outside of 250 but has been climbing at phenomenal speed, showing the most exciting display of his potential yet by beating sixth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets on Wednesday.

He benefits from having more experienced players to learn from and look up to, and he said: “I think I’ve known for a long time that my tennis skills are good.

“I obviously had the privilege of batting with Andy, Cam and Dan. You are a top player yourself. I know I could keep up with them for a while.

“It’s more about how I can cope mentally and physically at this level and do it consistently. That’s what top tennis is all about, being able to have every single point going head-to-head with these guys.

“It’s really crazy. My goal at the beginning of the year was two things: stay injury free and try to break the top 100. Now I will reach the top 50.

“Of course I’m very proud of myself. It’s a beautiful thing for all the hard work I put in every day with the people who care and support me. Hopefully further and upwards from here.” Cameron Norrie joins Dan Evans to make four British men in US Open third round

Fry Electronics Team

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