27 July - 2 August 2020

St. James's Place Battle of the Brits Team Tennis

National Tennis Centre

Local time

Every Bulldog has its day as the self-styled underdogs take control with wins from Konta and Norrie

  • 28/07/2020

  • News

Pre-tournament, Leon Smith and Anne Keothavong joked about how they might be the underdogs to the might of all three members of the Murray family, but on Day 2, they made their 5-point overnight margin count as the snapped up seven of the 13 points on offer in the first five matches.

Gradually the tide turned for the Union Jacks – first with Jamie Murray atoning for yesterday’s loss by getting their first point of the day, ably backed up by British men’s No. 1 Dan Evans who won a feisty three-point battle with Kyle Edmund with a back to back Battle of the Brits victory, after beating him in the first final a few weeks ago.

Dan Evans’ three points helped the Union Jacks chase the 16-point target and the team’s loudest cheerleader is in his element urging his team-mates on.

He said, after the match: “We've been taking a hammering so far, so try and get everybody to get through, make it a little easier. It's going to be a long week and as you said the energy levels will drop. You know when we support it's to get everyone through the match.”

Johanna Konta did her bit for the Bulldogs earlier in the day in picking off the rust and beating a match-fitter Katie Boulter in a three set battle.

She said: “These are my first competitive matches since the beginning of March. It's going to take time and I think more than anything like yesterday, I think just gave myself the chance to start playing better.

“In both matches I was in a good mind-set but especially today I thought I just kept staying in every point, giving myself the best chance for my level to get better.”

In the end, all hope to try and least get into double-figures rested with Andy Murray and Jodie Burrage but it was another formidable opposition with Joe Salisbury this time partnering Emma Raducanu.  

To begin with Murray and Burrage looked every bit the dream team, but Salisbury and Raducanu worked their way back into the match, taking the second set and turning the tide in the match tie-break, and dashing the hopes of the Union Jacks of closing the gap – for one day at least. 16 points will be up for grabs on Wednesday.

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