Tennis: Britain’s men thrive and grow at the US Open

For the first time in over fifty years, a British quartet made it to the third round of the Open

Jack Drapper celebrating win on Day Three of US Open
Jack Drapper: the youngest of Britain’s ‘Fab Four’
(Image credit: Julian Finney/Staff/Getty Images)

After Emma Raducanu’s victory at last year’s US Open, all the talk was of British women’s tennis being on the brink of a spectacular revival, said Mike Dickson in the Daily Mail. Yet we were looking in the wrong direction: the real success story has been on the men’s side.

At the US Open, a “Fab Four” – Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Andy Murray and Jack Draper – took the nation to historic heights. Not since the start of the Open era, in 1968, had a British quartet made it through to the third round at Flushing Meadows. All four are about to move into the world’s top 50, another first for the Open era.

Draper, at 20, is the youngest of the four, and a hugely exciting prospect, said Tumaini Carayol in The Guardian. He followed his first-round victory over Emil Ruusuvuori with an even more “startling” straight sets win over the sixth seed, Félix Auger-Aliassime.

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But in the next round, his breakthrough came to a “sudden halt”, said Stuart Fraser in The Times. In the third set of his match against the Russian Karen Khachanov, tied at 1-1, he felt a sharp pain in his thigh and retired shortly after. Murray and Evans also lost in the third round, but Norrie made it through to the last 16, before losing in straight sets to the ninth seed, the Russian Andrey Rublev, in a strangely lacklustre display.

It’s not just in singles that Britain’s men are thriving, said Molly McElwee in The Daily Telegraph. Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski are currently the first- and third-ranked doubles players in the world. All this means that Britain’s Davis Cup captain, Leon Smith, faces some tough decisions next week when he picks his side for the group stage in Glasgow. In the past, “the team practically picked itself”: now Smith has almost too many options. As Dan Evans put it, “it’s an amazing problem to have”.

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