Cameron Norrie joins three British men in US Open third round after easy Joao Sousa win

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Dan Evans hailed a “great tournament for the Brits” as Cam Norrie became the record fourth British man to reach the third round of the US Open last night. Evans and Norrie joined Andy Murray and Jack Draper in winning through the opening two rounds at Flushing Meadows.

It is the first time four British men have achieved the feat here in the Open era – and only the second time at any Major after Wimbledon in 1997. British No.1 Cam Norrie beat Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-4 6-6 7-6, while British No.2 Evans reached the third round here for the fourth consecutive year by seeing off Aussie James Duckworth 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-4.

World No.23 Evans said: “It’s nice to see everybody doing well. Them winning doesn’t help me. I still have to win the match. If anything, it puts a bit more pressure that you obviously want to keep everybody going.

“I think it’s nice that there’s two playing tomorrow, two playing the day after. Hopefully Andy and Jack can win. It would be amazing if there were four in the fourth round. That would be good.

“At some point, someone’s going to go out. It’s been a great tournament for the Brits. We’ve been consistent, and that’s what’s important.”

At Wimbledon in 1997, Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski, Andrew Richardson and Mark Petchey all reached the third round.

Meanwhile, Evans revealed Tim Henman is mentoring his latest run at the US Open – just like the former British No.1 did last year for Emma Raducanu. The British No.2 celebrated wildly following his 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-4 win over Aussie James Duckworth. And the world No.23 got to impress watching Davis Cup captain Leon Smith before the team to play in Glasgow later this month is confirmed.

Evans was also watched by former world No.4 Henman who is working here as an analyst for Amazon Prime. But the four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist is also a big help for current British players and was part of the Raducanu camp as she won the title last year.

And Evans, who is playing some of the best tennis of his life at the age of 32, said: “I speak to him quite often. He’s obviously a reassuring figure to have by the side of the court. He’s probably close to getting me a coaching fine!

“No, he’s great to have by the side. I really got on well with him when we did ATP Cup, the stuff he said really helped. So it’s nice to have encouragement from the side, but, you know, there is also a lot of other people. It’s nice to see Leon by the side of the court. I have, I think a lot of the guys, Jonny O’Mara comes out a lot to watch. I get on well with most of the guys, and it’s nice to see when they all come out and support.”

Evans dropped only six games to Jiri Vesely in the first round and did not face a break point until the third set against world No.83 Duckworth in the heat of the midday sun. The British No.2 fought back from a break down in the fourth set to take his first match point with a superb backhand passing shot down the line. It is the fifth time he has reached the third round here.

“It was a good effort,” he said. “It was getting difficult. I I played some good tennis, and then James was super-aggressive in the third, so it was good to get out of there.
I was just happy to get off, really. It was nice to win that match to get to the third round. It’s a match which on paper I’m supposed to win. It was my goal to get to where I needed to get to in the seeding spots, do my job, and then go from there.

“I felt good physically. It was more mentally. I didn’t want to go into a fifth. It’s sort of a shootout, and a f10-point tiebreaker in the last, so is  not something I really want to be a part of.”

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