Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

A British man not named Andy Murray advances at U.S. Open after big upset

August 26, 2013 -- Updated 2309 GMT (0709 HKT)
Used to being the only British man in the second round at grand slams, Andy Murray -- if he advances -- will have company at the U.S. Open after Dan Evans upset Kei Nishikori in straight sets. Used to being the only British man in the second round at grand slams, Andy Murray -- if he advances -- will have company at the U.S. Open after Dan Evans upset Kei Nishikori in straight sets.
HIDE CAPTION
Company for Andy
Purple patch for Venus
Hair raising
All eyes on the ball
Another British winner
The end for Blake
The defending champ
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Daniel Evans pulls off a major upset on the opening day of tennis' U.S. Open
  • Evans, ranked 179th, beats No. 11 seed Kei Nishikori in straight sets in New York
  • Venus Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na were first-round women's winners
  • James Blake will retire after the U.S. Open, putting an end to his 14-year pro career

(CNN) -- So used to being the only British man in the second round at grand slams -- especially outside Wimbledon -- Andy Murray will have company at the U.S. Open.

Although Murray didn't play his first-round match against Michael Llodra on Monday, the defending champion is fully expected to defeat the French veteran.

And if he indeed gets to the round of 64, he will find qualifier Dan Evans alongside him.

Read: Murray ends drought

Evans became the first men's player outside the top 150 in the world rankings to defeat a top-15 rival at the U.S. Open in six years when he dispatched Japan's Kei Nishikori.

The 179th-ranked Evans didn't only beat Nishikori -- he won in straight sets 6-4 6-4 6-2. After Evans rallied from a break down in the first set, he cruised.

"When I saw the draw, it was a little bit daunting but I went out and I played a good game and he didn't react that well to how I was playing," Evans told Sky Sports.

Once described as the bad boy of British tennis because he liked partying and didn't practice hard enough, Evans has seemingly turned his career around in recent months.

Serena Williams faces test in U.S. Open
Roger Federer in 'vulnerable' position
Secret to beating tennis' big four

The 23-year-old sent Britain into the Davis Cup world group playoffs when he crushed Russia's Evgeny Donskoy in April in the decisive fifth match.

Murray decided to skip the series but is expected to feature when Britain faces Croatia in September with a spot in next year's world group at stake.

With his performance in New York, Evans now has the edge over James Ward in being the No. 2 behind Murray in the tie. Ward failed to qualify for Flushing Meadows.

Ahead of the U.S. Open, Evans reached challenger finals in Vancouver and California to see his ranking move from around 250 to his current 179.

Qualifying and toppling Nishikori will see the diminutive shot-maker's ranking rise yet further.

"I've just been on the practice court a lot more and in the gym a lot more," Evans said. "It's been a gradual process from January onwards and I'm reaping the rewards of it now."

Britain had another winner on day one of the season's last major, as Laura Robson overcame Lourdes Dominguez Lino 7-5 6-0.

Robson was one of the young stars of the 2012 edition, sending crowd favorite Kim Clijsters into singles retirement and also upending Li Na.

Read: Shock loss for Clijsters

Her 2013, though, has been blighted by injuries and a coaching change. She has yet to register a quarterfinal showing at any event this campaign.

Nadal wins 8th French Open title
Maharajas play host
Federer targets more grand slam titles

Elsewhere, men's favorite Rafael Nadal eased past American Ryan Harrison in straight sets and Venus Williams maintained her record of never losing in the first round of the U.S. Open when she beat 12th-seeded Kirsten Flipkens 6-1 6-2.

Nadal missed last year's U.S. Open due to knee troubles.

"For me, the chance to be back here playing -- I have a chance to compete this year -- is great," Nadal, unbeaten on hard courts this year, told reporters.

Flipkens, the Wimbledon semifinalist, had gotten the better of Williams in Toronto this month in the 33-year-old American's comeback from a back injury.

Blake to retire

Andy Roddick retired last year after the U.S. Open and Mardy Fish's days on the tennis tour might be numbered given his health issues.

Now a third member of the U.S.'s older generation, James Blake -- like Williams 33 -- said Monday in an emotional news conference he would quit following the U.S. Open.

"Despite the tears, I'm actually really happy about this," Blake told reporters.

Diagnosed with severe scoliosis as a teen and later breaking his neck in a practice accident, Blake persevered.

He reached a career high of No. 4, has claimed 10 titles, won a Davis Cup and played at the prestigious year-end championships.

His career, however, has been slowed by injuries in recent years and he became a father in 2012.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
ADVERTISEMENT