ANDY MURRAY will attempt to join Dan Evans in the third round of the US Open when he takes on Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer this evening.
The odds on Murray having British company at this stage of the men’s singles would have been very long indeed before the tournament, but Evans continued his remarkable run with a 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 victory over Bernard Tomic.
The 23-year-old qualifier from Birmingham now takes on 19th seed Tommy Robredo, with the winner likely to face a fourth-round clash against Roger Federer, with whom Evans practised on Wednesday.
After finally beginning his campaign with a swift victory over Michael Llodra on Wednesday night, Murray plays his second-round match against Mayer on Louis Armstrong. He is scheduled third on court.
The pair were born on the same day, but apart from that have little in common, with Mayer ranked 81st in the world and never having been past the third round of a grand slam.
Murray has often struggled on Armstrong, though, and last year had tough matches against both Feliciano Lopez and Marin Cilic on Flushing Meadows’ second court.
Laura Robson opens proceedings on Arthur Ashe this afternoon in a third-round rematch against sixth seed Li Na.
It was in New York 12 months ago where Robson announced that she had come of age at the top level with back-to-back wins over Kim Clijsters and Li.
Robson has made a habit of beating big-name players, but the victory over Li remains arguably her most impressive.
Following up a first win on the big stage is always a challenge, and Robson recovered from losing the second set on a tie-break to win the match convincingly in three.
She said: “I remember being so nervous when I walked on court but just fighting through that and sticking with her.
“I think she made a lot of mistakes in the first set, which helped quite a lot. Hopefully she’ll do that again. It should be a good match.”
Robson has lived up to her 30th seeding in making the third round, but Evans exceeded his ranking of 179 just by qualifying for the main draw.
Now he has beaten 11th seed Kei Nishikori and one of the best young talents of the tour in 20-year-old Tomic.
Evans did not begin well, but turned things around impressively, playing a brilliant third-set tie-break.
He said: “That was pleasing I could find some belief inside and come back and find my game, because it wasn’t there. I looked at the clock, I think it was 34 minutes, I was a set and a break down. It was looking like the airport for me.”
Evans took an unusual medical timeout at the end of the third set to have his nipples taped.
“I don’t know what it was,” he said. “It was just agony. The stick I’m going to get back home is devastating.”
Elsewhere there were straightforward wins for Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.