Australia Open: Dan Evans laments lack of depth in British tennis after beating David Goffin
‘Not strong enough’: Dan Evans laments lack of depth in British tennis after beating David Goffin to reach Australian Open second round
- Dan Evans has complained about the lack of depth of British tennis
- Evans defeated David Goffin in straight sets in the first round of the Australian Open
- Four Brits are in the next round but Evans sounded a warning
- “We are getting better at this level, but at the lower levels we need more,” he said
Dan Evans dismantled former world No. 7 David Goffin to join Heather Watson at the best Australian Open in five years.
Wins for the more celebrated duo of Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu meant that a quartet of Brits survived the initial skirmishes, though Evans sounded cautious.
He now takes on France’s fast-rising Arthur Rinderknech, recognizing that more depth in the UK was needed to support some of the standout elite-level performances of the past year.
Dan Evans issued a warning on Tuesday about the lack of depth in British tennis
Evans joined Andy Murray (pictured) plus Emma Raducanu and Heather Watson on reaching the second round of the Australian Open, but sounded cautious
“There isn’t enough, it’s that simple,” said the GB men’s No. 2, who overtook the Belgian 6-4, 6-3, 6-0.
“We need more people within the 250 that come to these tournaments. We’re getting better at this level, but at the lower levels we need more and I just don’t think the top 25 in Britain is strong enough.”
Liam Broady, who lost to Nick Kyrgios’ flamboyant shotmaking yesterday, was the only GB man in the qualifying event. Harriet Dart, who went to former French Open champion Iga Swiatek, was the only female qualifier.
It’s hard to argue that it takes a larger number of players before GB can be listed in the same breath as France or Italy.
In any case, there has been a promising start to the season for 20-year-old Jack Draper, who won his first Challenger event this weekend in the Italian city of Forli.
While Evans undergoes a tough test in the second round against the 1.80m tall Rinderknech, Watson takes on Tamara Zidansek from Slovenia, the 29th seed. The British women’s No. 2 beat Egypt’s Mayar Sherif 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 and said time in the different climates of Bolton and Florida had helped revive her motivation.
Evans sent David Goffin in straight sets but said Britain’s top 25 was ‘not strong enough’
Raducanu reached the second round at the Melbourne Park by Sloane Stephens. defeat
The Channel Islander has spent time in the North West as her footballer boyfriend, Courtney Duffus, is currently employed by Morecambe in League One.
“Actually, my father has an apartment in Blackpool because he’s from there. So I spent time there training at the Bolton Arena and I love it,” she explained.
She also felt that it had been helpful to resume her regular December routine in Bradenton, and that it had helped her get in shape after her condition declined during the pandemic.
“I do my preseason in Florida every year except the year before because of Covid, and I love it there. I just focused on being surrounded by good people.
“My coach, Pat Harrison, is out there. We were on the field for at least four hours a day and I think I got back into shape. I got out of shape like a lot of people during Covid, but I feel super fit and strong and good about myself.”
Heather Watson won her match to round out an outstanding performance from British players
On a day when six Britons were playing in singles, Broady took on a showboating Kyrgios, although the Australian mixed that with impressive focus by beating him 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.
The crowd was treated to tricks, including an under-the-arms service delivered through the legs, and Broady endured an evening of sledding from fans.
The Stockport player, who rarely appears on a show court, was not offended by either. “I don’t think it’s personal,” he said. “Our job is to entertain people and make them enjoy the tennis they come to watch. He does, with all due respect to him.’