Who every British player faces, from Emma Raducanu to Andy Murray

MELBOURNE — Emma Raducanu will get the chance to relive past glories after being handed a first-round clash with Shelby Rogers at the Australian Open.

Her potential second-round opponent Sorana Cirstea is a familiar face too, having lost to Raducanu in the third round of Wimbledon in the same year, the British player’s initial breakthrough.

Later that summer, Raducanu thrashed Rogers 6-2 6-1 in the fourth round of the US Open in 2021, her seventh victim of 10 as she won a historic title as a qualifier.

But both women arrive in Melbourne off the back of injury troubled years: Raducanu missed the last eight months of 2023 after triple surgery on her wrists and ankle, while Rogers tore a muscle shortly before Wimbledon and missed the rest of the season with abdominal and knee problems.

Raducanu has at least made her competitive comeback, beating Elena-Gabriela Ruse and losing to Elina Svitolina in Auckland, and she shrugged off injury concerns caused by withdrawals from two exhibition matches this week with two one-hour training sessions on Thursday, virtually at full intensity.

But Rogers has not played since first-round defeat to Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon last summer, surely making Raducanu favourite to come through the tie.

In fact, all three British women might start favoured after Katie Boulter was handed a clash with world No 73 Yuan Yue, who is without a grand slam main-draw win in two years, while Jodie Burrage will face world No 81 Tamara Korpatsch in a similarly winnable tie.

Who every Brit is playing

Women’s singles

  • Jodie Burrage vs Tamara Korpatsch
  • Katie Boulter vs Yuan Yue
  • Emma Raducanu vs Shelby Rogers

Men’s singles

  • Jack Draper vs Marcos Giron
  • Andy Murray vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry (30)
  • Dan Evans vs Lorenzo Sonego
  • Cam Norrie (19) vs Juan Pablo Varillas

Play starts on Saturday night at midnight, with the first round spread across Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

In the men’s bracket meanwhile, Andy Murray could be forgiven for scanning ahead in the rounds to find a familiar foe.

Despite admitting earlier this week he would “rather have played someone else” other than Novak Djokovic in the four Australian Open finals he lost to the Serb, he did say he would relish the chance to face him one more time: they are potential third-round opponents in Melbourne.

“I was aware we were in the same section of the draw but let’s hope I can get there,” Murray said after beating Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-2 in an exhibition event in Kooyong.

“I’ve not done my best in the grand slams the last few years so my focus has to be on the first match. But I would love to get the opportunity to play Novak again if possible.”

But first he will have to make it past the No 30 seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry, a clay-court specialist primarily but one who achieved his career-best results at every grand slam in 2023.

“It’s not easy,” Murray added.

“He had a great year last year and plays very well. It is a good test for me in the first match.”

Etcheverry’s best run was to the quarter-finals of the French Open, which started with a win against Jack Draper, who was forced to retire due to a shoulder injury. He is now back fit and stronger than ever, having ended last season in a high note by reaching his first ever ATP final in Sofia.

He will face American Marcos Giron with the British No 4 hoping to record victory in Melbourne for the very first time: last year he made his debut against Rafael Nadal and lost in four sets.

Britain’s only seeded player Cameron Norrie will also fancy his chances of a deep run after being drawn against Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas, who has never won a match here, while Dan Evans will face Lorenzo Sonego but with a potential blockbuster in the second round against Carlos Alcaraz.

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