7 British flags flying the Australian Open

    With Andy Murray sidelined because of an injury, seven British players will compete in the main singles championships at the Australian Open.

    Here, the PA news agency looks at the representatives of Britain.

    Dan Evans

    Dan Evans celebrated his victory over Alex De Minaur in the ATP Cup (Steve Christo / AP)

    Evans had to qualify in Melbourne last year and is a demonstration of how impressed 12 months he has participated in this year’s tournament in a career ranking of 32 and as a thirtieth seed.

    With his one-year ban on drugs now firmly behind him, Evans has added reliability to his obvious talent and competitive grit and remains both an enthralling player to watch and capable of winning out of the ordinary.

    He led Britain brilliantly in the ATP Cup and enjoys conditions in Melbourne, where he reached the fourth round in 2017, achieving the best victory of his career against Marin Cilic.

    Cameron Norrie

    Cameron Norrie pictured during the ATP Cup
    This will be Cameron Norrie’s second appearance in the main draw at Melbourne Park (Steve Christo / AP)

    Left out of the British team for the Davis Cup finals, Norrie played as number two behind Evans in the ATP Cup and took two wins, albeit against low level players.

    Last season was again one of the advances for the 24-year-old southpaw, who reached his first ATP Tour final in his hometown of Auckland and entered the world’s top 50 for the first time, ending the year at 53 .

    This will be Norrie’s second appearance in the main draw at Melbourne Park. He lost to American Taylor Fritz in his debut last year.

    Kyle Edmund

    After drawing a line under an extremely disappointing 2019, Edmund hopes to look ahead to what will come this year with optimism.

    He has a new coach from Argentine expert Franco Davin and no points in the standings to defend until the end of February, which should help him to get back to the top 50 at least.

    His performances in helping Britain in the Davis Cup semifinals in November showed a player perhaps potentially even better than he did the last four in Melbourne in 2018 and reached the top 15 in the world.

    Johanna Konta

    Konta hopes to continue his brilliant Grand Slam race after reaching at least the quarterfinals in the last three tournaments.

    But he hasn’t won a game since beating Karolina Pliskova in the fourth round of the US Open in early September, after calling his season’s time to face an annoying knee injury.

    There remains a problem and Konta’s only warm-up game was a defeat for Barbora Strycova in Brisbane. The 28-year-old Sydney native loves Australian conditions but has landed in a very delicate part of the draw.

    Heather Watson

    Heather Watson will try to make the most of her opportunity in Melbourne
    Heather Watson will try to make the most of her opportunity in Melbourne (Steven Paston / PA)

    Having been just outside the cut-off of the standings, the withdrawals allowed Watson to move on to the main draw for a ninth consecutive year.

    Last season was largely disappointing, with a first-round defeat at Petra Martic in Melbourne, part of a eight game losing streak. But Watson ended the year reaching the fourth final of the WTA Tour in Tianjin and participates in the tournament after reaching the semifinals of Hobart International.

    Watson’s best performance in Melbourne came in 2013, when he reached the third round.

    Katie Boulter

    The 23-year-old from Leicestershire is currently ranked at 317, but has entered what will be her first grand slam in a year using a protected brand of 85.

    Boulter produced one of his best career wins against Ekaterina Makarova in Melbourne’s first round last year, but a back injury – suffered in helping Britain in the historic Fed Cup victory over Kazakhstan in April – ended to rule it out for more than six months.

    He is far behind in the rankings, but Boulter has a great game and a strong mentality.

    Harriet Dart

    Last summer Harriet Dart reached the third round of Wimbledon
    Last summer Harriet Dart reached the third round of Wimbledon (Victoria Jones / PA)

    Dart was the only British player to win a game in qualifying, with three straight wins that led to the main draw in style.

    It is the second consecutive year in which he reached the feat and hopes for a different outcome in the first round, failing to win a game against Maria Sharapova 12 months ago.

    Dart, ranked 173, also qualified for the US Open last summer, while her best week came in Wimbledon, where she fought until the third round. The 23-year-old Londoner has a strong work ethic and reliable shots on the ground, but a weak second serve is often punished.


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