We’re just four days into the French Open at Roland Garros and it’s already been one of the most successful campaigns for British singles tennis in recent years. The progression of Emma Raducanu, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans – who all play today – into the second round equals the tally from 2018 and 2017 and falls just one short of 2016’s total of four.
Both British No1’s are into today’s second round while Evans joins them after a well-earned win in his first victory of the clay Grand Slam.
But dive a little deeper into the data from the trio’s opening matches and there are some interesting points to be made.
Emma Raducanu is in her first ever French Open main draw, and the 19-year-old had to overcome last year’s junior champion to make it through.
Known for that decisive ace in New York to claim the US Open as a teen, Raducanu scored two of her own on Monday while returning every single point from opponent Linda Noskova.
She won 67 per cent of her break points but will be looking to improve today when she faces Aliaksandra Sasnovich later today. Her first serve success rate of 62 per cent and second serve win rate of 40 per cent will need to improve if she’s to challenge.
When you look at Cameron Norrie’s straight sets win over Frenchman Manuel Guinard, the sheer range of shots used by the Brit was impressive.
Though the number of ground strokes and approach shots were even, Norrie had four overhead shots to Guinard’s zero and more passing and volley shots.
He had double the winners than his opponent and a lower number of forced and unforced errors.
That said, Guinard broke Norrie on two occasions – once in each of the opening two sets – while he was broken by the Brit twice in the first set, thrice in the second set and three times in the third.
Tenth seed Norrie plays Australian Jason Kubler today, who lost 18 games in his straight sets first round win.
Evens against the odds
Dan Evans, ranked 29th in this tournament, also won in straight sets having overcome a opening set tie break against Francisco Cerundolo.
This was a classic three set win. Though his opponent had more winners, Evans racked up fewer unforced and forced errors, less double faults and more aces.
Evans has never passed the second round at Roland Garros, twice crashing out at this stage – in 2019 and 2020 – and hasn’t reached the third round in any Slam since the 2016 US Open.
Against Swede Mikael Ymer he will fancy his chances, but today’s opponent was clinical in his opening match, double faulting just once while wiping the floor in nearly every other aspect of the match.