30 Aug 2013

British invasion at the US Open?

Three British players are still in contention at the US Open after a surprise victory in the men’s draw.

Dan Evans beating Bernard Tomic at the US Open. (Getty)

Perhaps British foreign policy is now best played out on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows.

Three Britons are still in the tournament at the end of the first week: Andy Murray, the defending champion; Laura Robson, who is through to the women’s third round; and an unexpected addition in the men’s draw in the shape of Dan Evans.

The odds on Murray having British company at this stage would have been very long indeed at the start of the week.

But the 23-year-old British number three from Birmingham is into the third round after stunning Australia’s rising star Bernard Tomic, 1-6 6-3 7-6 (7/4) 6-3

The win was made sweeter because, just a year ago, Tomic’s father would not let his son practise with Evans because the Briton “wasn’t good enough”.

Nipple stick

Evans did not start well in the match but turned things around in the third-set tie-break. Afterwards he said: “That was pleasing I could find some belief inside and come back and find my game, because it wasn’t there.

“I looked at the clock, I think it was 34 minutes, I was a set and a break down. It was looking like the airport for me.”

Andy Murray paid tribute to his compatriot’s fightback with a joke on Twitter after Evans had to have his nipples taped during the match.

“I don’t know what it was,” he said. “It was just agony. The stick I’m going to get back home is devastating,” quipped Evans.

Robson v Na, take two

Meanwhile, Laura Robson will be hoping history repeats itself in her third-round encounter with sixth seed Li Na. It was in New York 12 months ago where Robson announced her arrival at the top level with back-to-back wins over Kim Clijsters and Li.

Robson beat Caroline Garcia of France in three sets to book the rematch.

Laura Robson in action at the US Open.

Recalling last year’s win, Robson said: “I remember being so nervous when I walked on court but just fighting through that and sticking with her.

“I think she made a lot of mistakes in the first set, which helped quite a lot. Hopefully she’ll do that again. It should be a good match.”

Robson has lived up to her 30th seeding in making the third round, but Evans exceeded his ranking of 179 just by qualifying for the main draw.

Murray’s next test

And after finally beginning his campaign with a swift victory over Michael Llodra on Wednesday night, Andy Murray plays his second-round match against Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer on Louis Armstrong court.

The pair were born on the same day but apart from that have little in common, with Mayer ranked 81st in the world and never having been past the third round of a grand slam.

Elsewhere Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka are all safely through.

Andy Murray beats Michael Llodra to secure a place in round two. (Getty)