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Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray lead British contenders at Australian Open

Perrernial grand slam hopefuls Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray lead the British charge at the upcoming Australian Open.

Cameron Norrie is the only seed while Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage are in the main draw on ranking for the first time.

Here, Planet Sport looks at the British contenders.

Cameron Norrie

The Mr Dependable of British tennis struggled during the second half of last season and admitted he felt a little burned out. Norrie does not have the luxury of a big weapon if his consistent game is not working but there were positive signs at last week’s United Cup, where he beat Alex De Minaur, that he may be close to finding his form again.

Dan Evans

Evans will be unseeded at a grand slam for the first time since 2019 after an inconsistent 2023 campaign ended prematurely by a calf injury. He is fit again and will be keen to try to climb back into the top 30. Now 33, Evans won the biggest title of his career in Washington last summer and also starred for Britain in the Davis Cup.

Andy Murray

It is 12 months since Murray’s extraordinary 4am victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis at Melbourne Park. His performances at the beginning of 2023 fuelled hope that he could push back towards the top of the game but it was largely a season of more frustration. There have been flashes of the old Murray but, at 36, time is very much running out.

Jack Draper

Could this be the year where Draper really makes a name for himself? The 22-year-old has been held back so far by injuries and missed a lot of last season but finished strongly and has all the tools to reach the very top of the game. A run to the fourth round of the US Open last summer is his best grand-slam showing so far.

Emma Raducanu

A raft of withdrawals have allowed Raducanu direct entry using the protected ranking of 103 from before her triple surgery. The hope is this can be a fresh start for the 21-year-old, who looked happy and relaxed on her return to the tour in Auckland last week, and showed in a close defeat to Elina Svitolina that she remains a high-class player.

Katie Boulter

Last season was by a distance the best of Boulter’s career. The 27-year-old won her maiden WTA Tour title in Nottingham and broke into the world’s top 50 for the first time. A supremely clean ball-striker, Boulter claimed the best win of her career over fifth-ranked Jessica Pegula at the United Cup last week for a dream start to 2024.

Jodie Burrage

Beaten by Boulter in the final in Nottingham, Burrage also achieved a long-term goal in 2023 by breaking into the top 100 for the first time. The 24-year-old will make her main-draw debut at Melbourne Park having fallen in the final round of qualifying 12 months ago.

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