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Australian Open: Seven Brits flying the flag

:Headline: Australian Open: Seven Brits flying the flag:
Dan Evans, Johanna Konta, Cameron Norrie and Kyle Edmund are among the British singles hopefuls in Melbourne.

With Andy Murray sidelined through injury, seven British players will compete in the main singles championships at the Australian Open.

Here, the PA news agency looks at Britain’s representatives.

Dan Evans

Dan Evans celebrated victory over Alex De Minaur at the ATP Cup (Steve Christo/AP)

Evans had to qualify in Melbourne last year and it is a demonstration of what an impressive 12 months he has had that he goes into this year’s tournament at a career-high ranking of 32 and as the 30th seed.

With his year-long drugs ban now firmly behind him, Evans has added reliability to his obvious talent and competitive grit and remains both a compelling player to watch and one capable of stand-out wins.

He led Britain brilliantly at the ATP Cup and enjoys the conditions in Melbourne, where he reached the fourth round in 2017, claiming the best win of his career against Marin Cilic.

Cameron Norrie

This will be Cameron Norrie’s second appearance in the main draw at Melbourne Park (Steve Christo/AP)

Left out of the British team for the Davis Cup finals, Norrie played as the number two behind Evans at the ATP Cup and came away with two victories, albeit against lowly-ranked players.

Last season was again one of progress for the 24-year-old left-hander, who reached his first ATP Tour final in his home city of Auckland and broke into the world’s top 50 for the first time, finishing the year at 53.

This will be Norrie’s second appearance in the main draw at Melbourne Park. He lost to American Taylor Fritz on his debut last year.

Kyle Edmund

The 23-year-old from Leicestershire is currently ranked down at 317 but has entered what will be her first grand slam for a year using a protected mark of 85.

Boulter produced one of the best wins of her career against Ekaterina Makarova in the first round in Melbourne last year but a back injury – suffered in helping Great Britain to their historic Fed Cup victory over Kazakhstan in April – ended up ruling her out for more than six months.

It is a long way back up the rankings but Boulter has a big game and a strong mentality.

Harriet Dart

Harriet Dart reached the third round of Wimbledon last summer (Victoria Jones/PA)

Dart was the only British player to win a match in qualifying, with three straight-sets victories sending her through to the main draw in style.

It is the second straight year she has achieved the feat, and she will hope for a different outcome in the first round having failed to win a game against Maria Sharapova 12 months ago.

Dart, ranked 173, also qualified at the US Open last summer, while her best week came at Wimbledon, where she battled through to the third round. The 23-year-old Londoner has a strong work ethic and reliable ground strokes but a weak second serve frequently gets punished.

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