Australian Open features record number of British players in 2021 men’s doubles event
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This year’s Australian Open includes a record number of British entrants in a men’s doubles draw dating back to the inception of the event, way back to 1905.
Nine players, including Jamie Murray and reigning men’s doubles champion Joe Salisbury, will begin their campaigns in Melbourne this week.
The number of British entrants in the event also represents the most number of Direct Acceptances into the draw (without wildcards) by any nation, followed by the USA and France with eight players each.
The record reflects a step change in British men’s doubles performance and rankings over the last decade. In 2010 there was only one British player in the world’s top 62 (at No.50), compared to seven at the end of 2020, including three within the top 30.
Leon Smith, LTA Head of Men’s Tennis, said: “This number of players we have competing in this year’s Australian Open doubles draw is a testament to the hard work that Louis Cayer and the rest of our Performance team put into supporting these players over a number of years as part of a consistent approach.
"Doubles continues to be a key part of the recreational game and we are proud to have a world-leading doubles programme, one which the LTA continues to invest in under the leadership of Scott Lloyd as part of our long-term performance strategy.
"There are two tangible benefits to this, in that it exposes more coaches to the highest levels of the game and secondly, Grand Slam success over the last decade from players like Jonny Marray, Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury will help inspire others to achieve their dreams on the singles or the doubles court.”
Louis Cayer, LTA Senior Performance Coach, said: “The LTA has been very innovative in supporting and nurturing doubles success over the last 14 years since I came on board.
"We started a ‘British Doubles System’ based on positioning, creating uncertainty though movement and shot selection that has become world-leading amongst our peers.
"This system allows every British player to step on court, partner with each other and continually adapt to trends in the sport, enhancing development of our coaches and encouraging success at the highest levels. We are proud to have achieved this milestone for doubles at the Australian Open and will look to keep pushing our limits.”
Joe Salisbury and American partner Rajeev Ram are the current Australian Open champions and are seeded fifth at this year’s tournament, while sixth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares of Brazil are aiming for their second title win in Melbourne following their triumph in 2016.
The full list of doubles pairings featuring British players is:
Joe Salisbury amd Rajeev Ram (USA) 
Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares (BRA) 
Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski 
Dom Inglot and Luke Bambridge
Jonny O’Mara and Artem Sitak (NZL)
Dan Evans and Radu Albot (MOL)
Cam Norrie and Marcos Giron (USA)
In the Australian Open women’s doubles, Heather Watson is paired with Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, while Alfie Hewett partners Gordon Reid in the men’s wheelchair doubles and Lucy Shuker partners Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa in the women’s wheelchair doubles.