20 January - 2 February 2020

Australian Open

Melbourne Park, Australia

Australian Open: Brits in strong form heading into Melbourne

  • 17/01/2020

  • Australian Open

Britain's top players are all set to kickstart their runs at the first Grand Slam of the year as the Australian Open gets under way in Melbourne, taking place Monday 20 - Sunday 2 January 2020. 

Who's playing?

GB ATP Cup quarter-finalists Dan Evans and Cam Norrie face world No.132 Mackenzie McDonald and world No.64 Pierre Hugues Herbert in the first round. Also joining them in the main draw is Kyle Edmund who faces world No.27 Dusan Lajovic.

After reaching a new career-high of world No.33 on Monday, Evans is entering a Grand Slam with his first ever seeding as the No.30 seed. He also comes in fresh from a run to final-eight in Adelaide. Should Evans reach the third for a second time, he could potentially face seven-time champion Novak Djokovic.

Ranked just two spots higher than his first round opponent, Norrie is bidding to reach the second round in Melbourne for the first time, whilst 2018 semi-finalist Edmund will be looking to build on his recent run in Auckland which saw him reach the quarter-finals. 

View this post on Instagram

Quarter Finals bound! #aucklandopen #nike #quarterfinals

A post shared by Kyle Edmund (@kyle.edmund) on

British No.1 Johanna Konta enters as No.12 seed after an impressive 2019 season saw her reach three Grand Slam quarter-finals. She will take on Ons Jabeur for a place in the second round and could meet Serena Williams in a final-16 clash. 

View this post on Instagram

Good vibes 🙌👋😁

A post shared by Johanna Konta (@johannakonta) on

British No.2 Heather Watson will be looking to build on her stunning form at the Hobart International, where she defeated top seed Elise Mertens.

She will take on Kristyna Pliskova in the first round in Melbourne. 

Katie Boulter will be making her Grand Slam comeback after taking time out to recover from an injury she picked up following her stunning Fed Cup performance which saw the Brits reach the World Group for the first time in over a quarter of a century. She faces a tough first round opponent in the form of No.5 seed Elina Svitolina. 

View this post on Instagram

👋🏼 @australianopen

A post shared by Katie Boulter (@katiecboulter) on

Harriet Dart became the fourth British woman to reach the first round after producing a dominant display in her final qualifying match, beating Giulia Gatto-Monticone 6-1, 6-3. She will find out her opponent once qualifying is completed.

For full draws and schedules, head to the tournament's official website

Meanwhile in doubles...

2016 Australian Open men's doubles champion Jamie Murray and Neal Skupksi are bidding to win their first Grand Slam title together after starting a solid partnership in summer last year. They come in a strong contenders after a deep run in Adelaide.

Fellow Adelaide semi-finalist Joe Salisbury with his American partner Rajeev Ram also pose a threat to competitors. Like Murray and Skupski, they are looking to claim their first Grand Slam title together and will be looking to follow on from their brilliant 2019 season which saw them reach the Nitto ATP Finals. 

Dom Inglot, Jonny O'Mara and Luke Bambridge will also be in action.  

What about wheelchair tennis?

Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, Jordanne Whiley and Andy Lapthorne take Brit hopes into the wheelchair singles and doubles events, with all four no strangers to Grand Slam success.

It’s been four years since Reid won his first career Grand Slam singles title in Australia before going on to triumph later the same season at Wimbledon and the Rio Paralympic Games. While he will hope to begin this current Paralympic year in similarly impressive form, Reid and Hewett have now won the men’s singles title at all four Grand Slams between them. Current British No.1 Hewett will aim to make it back-to-back Grand Slam crowns after winning his second successive US Open title in September, while the combination of Hewett and Reid will bid to add the Australian Open men’s doubles title to the three US Open and three Wimbledon crowns they have already won.

Lapthorne will also go in search of back-to-back Grand Slam quad singles and doubles victories after lifting both trophies at the US Open in September. Lapthorne is already a five-time Australian Open quad doubles champion and will be hoping to capture his sixth personal doubles title in Melbourne and what could be his fourth partnering the USA’s David Wagner.

Whiley returns to the first major of the year for the first time since 2016 after earning her first direct acceptance for a Grand Slam since launching her comeback from maternity leave last February. Whiley’s best Australian Open singles result to date was a semi-final berth in 2014, the same year that she won the first of two successive Australian Open doubles titles partnering Japan’s Yui Kamiji.

What happened last year?

Andy Murray once again had us all on the edge of our seats as he found himself in a five-set thriller against Roberto Bautista Agut. Whilst it was the Spaniard who eventually got the win, the former British world No.1 showed there was still plenty more to give, despite opening up about potential retirement just a few days before.  

I don’t know, maybe I’ll see you again, I’ll do everything possible to try.

True to his word, he underwent a second hip operation and made a winning return at the Fever-Tree Championships just six months later when he teamed up with Spain’s Feliciano Lopez to lift the doubles title. Then, just three months later, he cemented his place in the singles circuit once more with an inspirational run in Antwerp, concluding with victory over three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the final.

Five-time finalist Murray had to withdraw from this year’s Australian Open due to a pelvic injury, but will be eyeing up a return in 2021 for another shot at winning the title.

In the women’s draw, Katie Boulter scored her first main draw win Down Under with an impressive 6-0, 4-6, 7-6(6) win over Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.

View this post on Instagram

Well that was intense 😳 first main draw AO win 🤷🏼‍♀💪🏼 #AusOpen

A post shared by Katie Boulter (@katiecboulter) on

Back the Brits! 

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news about the Brits in action at the Australian Open by following LTA on TwitterFacebook and Instagram, and signing up to LTA's free newsletterEurosport will be providing exclusive live coverage of matches.