Brits endure horror day at US Open as FIVE exit on day one – leaving just three standing

Andy Murray and Ash Barty pay tribute to each other

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It was a disappointing day for the Brits on the opening day of the US Open, as four were knocked out in the first round while Johanna Konta was forced to withdraw just hours before her match. Dan Evans was the only player to seal victory in a packed day of British tennis with six players scheduled to be in action on day one. Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie, Heather Watson and Harriet Dart all suffered defeat, while Emma Raducanu and Katie Boulter will both try and turn things around as they play their opening matches on Tuesday (August 31).

Murray headlined a blockbuster day for the Brits, with six of the eight British players in the draw all scheduled to play on the first day of the US Open.

The 2012 champion in Flushing Meadows produced an incredible display against third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, ultimately falling in five sets after a four hour and 49 minute epic on Arthur Ashe.

Meanwhile, court 10 was the place to be for British fans with all four originally-scheduled matches stacking Dan Evans, Heather Watson, Johanna Konta and Cameron Norrie back-to-back.

Twenty-fourth seed Evans kicked things off on a positive note, beating Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-7(6) 6-4 6-1.

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Things quickly turned sour as Konta pulled out of the US Open just hours before her first round encounter with Kristina Mladenovic, citing a left thigh injury.

The British No 1 was replaced by a lucky loser, while her compatriots Watson and Dart also had their time in Flushing Meadows cut short.

Watson, who had shown impressive form when she challenged world No.1 Ash Barty in Cincinnati recently, fell to 109th-ranked Kaja Juvan in straight sets, with the Slovenian sealing a quick 6-1 6-4 victory.

Dart, a qualifier, started her main-draw campaign by picking up the first set over former top-ten player Caroline Garcia in a tiebreak.

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The Frenchwoman was able to turn things around and dispatch Dart with a 6-7(6) 6-4 6-2 win.

Meanwhile, it was also a disappointing affair on the men’s side, as Murray and Norrie lost their respective matches.

The former world No.1 faced a tough test as he opened against third seed and recent French Open finalist Tsitsipas.

However, he managed to impress and raced to secure the first set 6-2 before he was edged out in an enthralling second-set tiebreak.

Murray still managed to reclaim a lead and go two-sets-to-one up but ultimately fell in five, as he criticised his opponent for taking a lengthy bathroom break at the conclusion of the fourth set.

After the match, the current world No.112 slammed Tsitsipas and said he had “lost respect” for the Greek.

Norrie, the 26th seed, suffered a more straightforward loss at the hands of 18-year-old rising star Carlos Alcaraz.

The Spaniard, who has been likened to Rafael Nadal, secured a 6-4 6-4 6-3 victory over the Brit, who has had the best season of his career so far in 2021.

Raducanu and Boulter can lift British spirits when they take to the court for their own first-round matches on day two.

Raducanu had her chances boosted when Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady pulled out of the tournament yesterday, with the 18-year-old Brit having originally been set to face the 13th seed.

She now plays lucky loser Stefanie Voegele, while Boulter opens her main-draw campaign against world No.52 Liudmila Samsonova.

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