Australian Open: The six British players you should look out for including Johanna Konta and Dan Evans, but no Andy Murray

Andy Murray isn’t taking part in this year’s Australian Open but there are still plenty of British players who have gained direct entry into the main singles draws.

Although it could be a blessing in disguise for Murray as this year’s championships are set to be a struggle for all involved.

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Murray won’t take part in this year’s tournament as he nurses a groin strain

Due to the ongoing wildfires the air quality is clearly not as good as it should be, and it badly affected players during qualifying this week, with one – Dalila Jakupovic – even pulling out of her qualifier as she was struggling to breathe properly.

However, the show must go on and below are six Brits you should look out for Down Under.

Dan Evans

He had to qualify in Melbourne last year and shows what an impressive 12 months he’s had that he goes into this year’s tournament at a career-high ranking of 33.

With his year-long drugs ban now firmly behind him, Evans has added reliability to his obvious talent and competitive grit and remains both a compelling player to watch and one capable of stand-out wins.

Evans led Britain brilliantly at the ATP Cup and enjoys the conditions in Melbourne, reaching the fourth round in 2017, where he claimed the best win of his career against Marin Cilic.

British tennis player Dan Evans handed one year ban for testing positive for cocaine


Evans is finally coming close to fulfilling his potential

Cameron Norrie

Left out the British team for the Davis Cup finals, Norrie played as the number two behind Evans at the ATP Cup and came away with two victories, albeit against low-ranked players.

The 24-year-old left-hander progressed well last season as he reached his first ATP Tour final in his home city of Auckland and broke into the world’s top 50 for the first time, finishing the year at 53.

This will be Norrie’s second appearance in the main draw at Melbourne Park. He lost to American Taylor Fritz on his debut last year.

Norrie is ranked as British no.2, behind Dan Evans

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Norrie is ranked as British no.2, behind Dan Evans

Kyle Edmund

Having drawn the line under a hugely disappointing 2019, Edmund can hopefully look ahead to what is to come this year with optimism.

Edmund has a new coach in experienced Argentinian Franco Davin and no ranking points to defend until the end of February, which should help him push back towards at least the top 50.

His performances helped Britain get to the Davis Cup semi-finals in November, showing glimpses of a player perhaps potentially even better than the one who made the last four in Melbourne in 2018 and reached the world’s top 15.

Edmund will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2019

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Edmund will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2019

Johanna Konta

She will hope to carry on her brilliant Grand Slam run having reached at least the quarter-finals at the last three tournaments.

However, Konta has not won a match since beating Karolina Pliskova in the fourth round of the US Open in early September, having subsequently called time on her season to address a nagging knee injury.

It remains an issue, and Konta’s only warm-up match was a defeat by Barbora Strycova in Brisbane, but the 28-year-old Sydney native loves the Australian conditions and a high seeding will help with the draw.

Konta’s best performance in Melbourne came in 2016


Konta’s best performance in Melbourne came in 2016

Heather Watson

Having initially been just outside the ranking cut-off, withdrawals allowed Watson to make it into the main draw for a ninth straight year.

Last season was largely disappointing for her, with a first-round loss to Petra Martic in Melbourne part of an eight-match losing streak.

But Watson finished the year by reaching a fourth WTA Tour final in Tianjin and remains a player capable of strong results.

Watson’s best performance in Melbourne came in 2013, where she reached the third round.

Watson has never made it beyond the third round in any Slam

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Watson has never made it beyond the third round in any Slam

Katie Boulter

The 23-year-old from Leicestershire is currently ranked down at 317 but has entered what will be her first Grand Slam for a year using a protected mark of 85.

Boulter produced one of the best wins of her career against Ekaterina Makarova in the first round in Melbourne last year but a back injury – suffered in helping Great Britain to their historic Fed Cup victory over Kazakhstan in April – ended up ruling her out for more than six months.

It is a long way back up the rankings but Boulter has a big game and a strong mentality.

Boulter turned pro in 2014

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Boulter turned pro in 2014

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