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French Open 2023: Emma Raducanu ‘papered over cracks’ in British tennis – Dan Evans

Dan Evans returns a ball

Dan Evans is one of only three British players in the main draws of the French Open singles
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 28 May-11 June
Coverage: Live text and radio commentaries of selected matches across BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra, the BBC Sport website and app

Emma Raducanu’s victory at the US Open papered over the cracks in the state of British tennis, says Dan Evans.

Evans, seeded 24th, is one of only three Britons playing in the French Open singles main draws, alongside Cameron Norrie and Jack Draper.

With Raducanu injured, there are no British players in the women’s singles.

“There’s enough people playing junior tennis. We just don’t help them in my opinion. It’s a scarce draw, isn’t it?” said the British men’s number two.

Evans, 33, has long been a vocal critic of the pathway in British tennis and said the nation was “lucky” to see Raducanu emerge as a major champion in 2021.

Asked if Raducanu’s win as a teenage qualifier in New York “papered over cracks”, Evans said: “Is that a rhetorical question? Yes.

“She’s a very good tennis player but the rankings don’t lie, do they?

“I don’t want to sound like a broken record. But there is way further to go than just the top players. It’s from the bottom up.”

Britain has four players ranked in the men’s world top 60, although Andy Murray is not joining Norrie, Evans and Draper at Roland Garros after deciding to focus on the grass-court season.

Raducanu, 20, is also missing from the clay-court Grand Slam following surgeries on her wrists and ankle.

Raducanu has recently dropped to 106th in the world, meaning there are no British players inside the top 100 of the women’s rankings.

Seven women lost in qualifying at Roland Garros – Harriet Dart, Katie Swan, Katie Boulter, Sonay Kartal, Heather Watson, Lily Miyazaki and Francesca Jones – as did Ryan Peniston, Liam Broady and Jan Choinski in the men’s event.

Speaking at Roland Garros on Friday, Evans added. “Argentina got 13 men in the qualifying here. They have no money, they have nothing. Not a federation basically.

“We need to make people love tennis and get involved. That’s what I think we need to do: get a bigger pool, pool it all in and get going.

“It’s simple. It’s simple maths.”

In response to Evans’ comments, the Lawn Tennis Association acknowledged the disappointing results in French Open qualifying but insisted it is “making longer term progress.

“There is more work to do before we consistently have the numbers we would like to see across all levels,” said the…

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