Australian Open: Andy Murray, Emma Raducanu and Cameron Norrie lead British bid in Melbourne
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Cameron Norrie leads seven British players in the main singles draws of the Australian Open.
Norrie will be Britain’s best hope for success and is one of five men to earn direct entry to the main draw, with Emma Raducanu and Harriet Dart in the women’s field.
After two brilliant seasons, Norrie’s start to 2023 indicates he is more than capable of further successes this term. The 27-year-old claimed a career-best win over Rafael Nadal at the United Cup and also beat Taylor Fritz and Alex De Minaur. Having lost to Sebastian Korda in the first round in Melbourne 12 months ago, a good run could see him push back into the top 10.
Evans has been short of wins to start the season after struggling with illness but knows how to win grand slam matches. A relative veteran now at 32, the stylish right-hander is again seeded and will hope to at least match last year’s effort in reaching the third round.
Such has been the swiftness of Draper’s rise that his first appearance at the Australian Open is in the main draw as a top-50 player. The 21-year-old left-hander has already shown that his powerful but varied game can be a match for anyone but faces a very tough start against defending champion Rafael Nadal.
Murray finds himself as only the British number four as he continues to try to find a way back to the top of the game. The 35-year-old was mercifully free of too many physical issues last season but frustrated by his performances and results. He will hope a strong pre-season training block pays off in Australia, where he also has a difficult opener against Matteo Berrettini.
The 2018 Australian Open semi-finalist has been the forgotten man of British tennis in the two years he has spent battling a knee problem. Edmund has to manage the condition but, at 28, is hoping he still has more years ahead of him. Ranked down at 583, he is able to enter tournaments using a protected standing reserved for those who have spent long periods on the sidelines.
A twisted ankle means 2023 begins as 2022 finished with fitness doubts over the British number one. Raducanu was in tears after suffering the injury during a match in Auckland last week having spent most of the off-season working on her physical condition. If the 20-year-old does recover in time, she will hope to set the tone for a more positive campaign.
Having broken into the top 100 last season, Dart is in the main draw on ranking in Melbourne for the first time. The 26-year-old ended 2022 with brilliant victories over Paula Badosa and Ajla Tomljanovic representing Great Britain at the Billie Jean King Cup and will aim to play with the same tenacity and belief.
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