Britain’s positive start at the US Open continued as Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans made five players through to the second round.
Norrie kept his focus amid the faltering efforts of the unpredictable Frenchman Benoit Paire, winning 6-0 7-6(1) 6-0 while Evans put on a high-profile performance to defeat Czech Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-6. 1, 6-1 to defeat.
After 10 British players reached the second round at Wimbledon, the most since 1984, this is already by far the best US Open since 1981 in terms of Brits going through to the second round – with defending champion Emma Raducanu still playing.
Andy Murray, Harriet Dart and Jack Draper all won their matches on Monday, with the latter making his much-anticipated debut with a straight-set win over Emil Ruusuvuori to set up a duel against Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Draper enjoys learning from his more experienced compatriots and the 20-year-old believes attitudes towards British tennis have changed.
“It’s fun to have guys you know and train with and support you,” he said. “Now as a nation, I feel like we’re respected because we have a lot of great tennis players. It’s definitely exciting and even as a young player I feed on their energy.”
The Lawn Tennis Association aims to be one of the most respected nations for player development, but Evans is wary of too many backslaps.
The 32-year-old has been a critic of the LTA in the past and worries the picture, particularly in men’s football, is not as rosy as it might seem.
He said, “What comes after Jack? There’s a gaping hole. Our best junior, Jack Pinnington-Jones, is going to college. Jack was funded very well and he did (things) his way and that’s one, but there were other people too – you can’t say it’s money well spent.
“It’s in a good place, I’m not saying it’s not, but we need more I think. If we start saying we’re doing really well, we’ll be resting on our laurels.”
Whether other young players join him or not, Draper seems to have all the tools to get to the top of the game.
Already on the verge of breaking into the top 50 having climbed more than 200 places since the start of the season, he firmly believes in doing justice to his considerable talents.
Draper, who celebrated his first top 10 win in Montreal earlier this month by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas, said of battling sixth seed Auger-Aliassime, “I’ve had a lot of confidence boosts over the past few weeks and months.
“I’m afraid nobody goes into this tournament. Against everyone I play against, I think I can win. But of course it will be a very tough match. He’s in the top 10 for a reason. He’s a great player.
“He can take the bat out of your hand. Hopefully we’ll play a good match. I don’t know too much about him – I’ve never batted with him or played against him. It will be good to go out and play against him.”
Murray will be looking to reach the third round here for the first time since 2016, while Dart’s reward for a career-best win over Daria Kasatkina is a second-round date with Hungary’s Dalma Galfi.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/cameron-norrie-dan-evans-us-open-results-b2156142.html US Open: Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans both win in straight sets to advance to second round