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Andy Murray gets company with recent British surge thanks to "an amazing environment"
Along with established player Cameron Norrie, the likes of Jack Draper, Ryan Peniston, Alastair Gray and Liam Broady all joined the former world No. 1 in winning their Wimbledon openers.
Published Jun 29, 2022
FROM THE PRESS ROOM: Murray assesses opening performance
Andy Murray has largely carried British men's tennis for most of his career, but he's starting to get more company. Countryman Cameron Norrie recently cracked the Top 10 (currently No. 12) and is among another five British men through to the second round of Wimbledon, the most in years.
That includes rising 20-year-old Jack Draper, who recently entered the Top 100, plus Ryan Peniston, 26, Alastair Gray, 24, and Liam Broady, 28, who are all wild cards.
The enduring success of three-time Grand Slam champion Murray, along with Emma Raducanu's recent victory at the US Open, has helped spur other players. Both opened the tournament with wins on Centre Court on the first day of the event.
"I watched a bit of Emma and Andy. I thought they played amazing on Centre Court... Yeah, definitely seeing them win fired me up," Draper told press following his first-round win.
And now they're also doing that for each other.
"British tennis right now is an amazing environment. We're all pushing each other every day, whether it's in training or at tournaments. When we get to come home to England and play all in the same tournaments, it's even better," said Peniston, who reached the quarterfinals of the Queen's Club warmup event.
"We're all just pushing each other higher and higher right now," agreed Gray. "I think we're all just hungry to win. I think that's because we have some good people supporting us in the LTA, Mark Taylor, mine and Peniston's coach."
The often-criticized LTA has been part of the turnaround, adds Broady, who has not always had a smooth journey with the association during his career.
"Things have changed," he said. "The way the schedule is done with practice involves everybody. Everyone gets to know each other then.
"Which maybe I didn't really experience when I was 18 or 19, was the younger guys get to play with everyone."
There were nine British men's players in the first round.