The magnificent seven has been reduced by one after Lily Miyazaki’s exit from the US Open on Wednesday, and now the six remaining Britons will aim to extend their stays here in New York.
Jodie Burrage has the toughest task, against No2 seed Aryna Sabalenka, while Andy Murray’s clash with Grigor Dimitrov is first up on Arthur Ashe Stadium in the heat of the afternoon.
Perhaps the biggest prize at stake, though, is on offer for Dan Evans. Ranked 28 in the world, Evans reached the third round here last year, so matching that performance will be uppermost in his mind, which will mean beating the big-serving Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp.
But the contest has more than just a third-round spot up for grabs, since the winner will almost certainly play defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, who plays world No177 Lloyd Harris of South Africa. “Whoever wins that, I imagine, will be playing against Carlos. It’s one you want to win, or maybe not want to win,” Evans said, smiling. “No, you want to win.”
Asked if he fancied the idea of taking on the world No1 and Wimbledon champion, he said: “No, I wouldn’t fancy it, but it would be good, wouldn’t it?”
Van de Zandschulp is ranked No65 but has been as high as No22 and Evans knows he will have his hands full in what will be their first meeting.
Evans said: “He plays good, he hits the ball good. I think he qualified here one year and made the quarter-finals. He’ll be difficult.”
British No1 Cameron Norrie plays Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taipei, who qualified for the main draw, while Jack Draper has a tough task against Hubert Hurkacz, the No17 seed from Poland. In some ways, Draper is playing with house money.
After missing Wimbledon due to a shoulder injury, the 21-year-old was not sure if he would even make it to New York and was pleasantly surprised by his first-round win over the more experienced Radu Albot.
As the baby of the British players in the draw here, Draper admits that Murray, Norrie and Evans “give me some gyp”, but he also says that being around them and training with them each day is giving him belief that he belongs at this level.
“I’ve always got on well with Cam, Andy, Dan,” he said. “They give me a bit of gyp here and there. I went to Davis Cup in Colombia this year, that was great to get to know especially Cam and Dan better.
“No doubt those guys have been incredible role models for me and good support. When I’m around, they make me feel comfortable, especially on the Tour, because you’re in the locker rooms and you don’t know many people. As a young guy, feeling welcome is obviously quite nice.
“It’s nice to be around great players like them. They’re still doing amazingly well. I’m just very lucky to have them, I suppose.”
Burrage has been the main cheerleader for the British players this week, and was courtside for Miyazaki’s 6-3, 6-3 defeat by Belinda Bencic.
British No1 Katie Boulter will kick things off today against Yafan Wang, who took out No7 seed Caroline Garcia in round one. Victory for Boulter would put the world No61 inside the top 50 for the first time.