Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans both won yesterday to put four British men into the third round of the event for the first time in the Open era, and the first time at any Grand Slam in 25 years. GB will also have four Brits in the world’s top 50 when the rankings are revised post-tournament.
Both Murray and Draper face an arduous task: Murray takes on No9 seed Matteo Berrettini while Draper faces his second successive seed in the tournament in Karen Khachanov.
Berrettini’s season has been beset by injury and, after defeating Murray in the final of the Stuttgart Open, was one of the favourites for Wimbledon, only to contract Covid.
Of the prospect of facing the Italian, Murray said: “He’s been very unlucky this year. He’s been up at the top of the game for quite a number of years and now he’s very consistent. He’s a big server with a high percentage of serves, so always makes it difficult to break and is always in the match because of that.
In Pictures | US Open 2022
“He’s not just a big serve, though. He has a good slice backhand, he has a big forehand. I think he’s a very good competitor as well. It is not going to be easy.”
Norrie, who has climbed up to a career-high ninth in the world, said the Brits in New York were “feeding off each other” after his own 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 victory over Joao Sousa. Meanwhile, Evans said the pressure of the Brit surge at the US Open had helped him in his 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory over James Duckworth.
“Them winning… puts a bit more pressure that you obviously want to keep everybody going,” he said. “And it’s amazing that there are so many guys still going, all at different parts of our careers.”