Dan Evans’ victory over Maxime Cressy, his sixth in a row to start the season, rounded out the semifinal places at ATP Sydney. The Solihull native now joins Aslan Karatsev, Reilly Opelka, and, Andy Murray in the last four.
Evans will play top seeded Russian and Australian Open semifinalist Karatsev and Murray will take on the huge American Opelka. Obviously, this sets up the possibility of an all-British ATP final. This sent me on a tour of the record books to see when the last time this may have happened.
The British Mens’ Singles Open Era Successes
Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie, Kyle Edmund, and Dan Evans have all made ATP Tour finals on multiple occasions, but never played each other, or any other British player. Edmund and Norrie have teamed up for a doubles title before but that doesn’t count.
Tim Henman made 24 ATP Finals, winning 11, but again never faced a British opponent in any of them. Some would argue that Greg Rusedski isn’t a British player at all, but even including his 27 singles finals (15 wins) there is no record of an all-British men’s singles final duel.
There was a slight dearth of men’s singles British success before the early 1990s in the Open Era. John Lloyd won titles, but never faced a fellow Brit. There were the odd final appearances here and there in the late 1980s and early 1990s but it was the arrival of Henman and the “acquisition” of Rusedski that kickstarted British participation back at the top tier of tennis.
Will it be an Evans vs Murray Final?
The bookmakers make it very tight in both semifinals, so the chances are against this happening. However, if it did then it would be a cool little piece of history for both men and British tennis.
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