Whisper it quietly, the Brits are coming.
Of the eight British players in the main draw at the US Open, the most since 1985, five made it through to round two, with Andy Murray, Dan Evans and Naomi Broady joining Johanna Konta and Kyle Edmund in the last 64 on Tuesday.
The quintet of survivors matches the best performance by British players at Flushing Meadows since 1987, when four women and one man made it through the first round.
Second seed Murray, looking ominous in all black, was the last of the five to progress with a late-night 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory over Czech Lukas Rosol, effortlessly advancing without facing a single break point.
“I served very well,” said Murray, who set up a second round encounter against Marcel Granollers of Spain.
“It was a tough start to the match, he had a few chances early on but once I got the break up, I played well.”
Evans was ranked as low as 772 in May 2015 and still outside the top 300 when the U.S. Open began last August.
A string of successes on the Challenger Tour carried him close to the top 100 and his 6-2 4-6 7-5 6-1 over the American Rajeev Ram is set to lift his ranking from 64 to inside the top 60, a new career-high.
“I would have taken your hand off,” Evans responded when asked how he would have reacted had someone offered him a chance to be ranked this high at this stage of the year.
“It’s been a pretty interesting year and I’m happy with how it’s been.”SHOW MORE