US Open 2023: Dan Evans ready for Carlos Alcaraz in New York

Dan Evans and Carlos Alcaraz in action at the US Open
Dan Evans has lost his two previous matches against Carlos Alcaraz

US Open 2023

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 28 August-10 September

Coverage: Daily live text and radio commentaries across the BBC Sport website, app, BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra

Britain's Dan Evans says he will be reminding himself Spanish top seed Carlos Alcaraz is a "normal person" when they meet in the US Open third round on Saturday.

Evans, 33, plays the defending champion on Arthur Ashe Stadium at 17:00 BST.

"Alcaraz is an unbelievable player but what's the point of me going out there and thinking I've got no right to beat him?" said 26th seed Evans.

Katie Boulter, Cameron Norrie and Jack Draper are also in third-round action.

Boulter, who is Britain's leading women's player, faces American world number 59 Peyton Stearns.

British men's number one Norrie, seeded 16th, plays US Open debutant Matteo Arnaldi of Italy and the winner will face Evans or Alcaraz.

Like Boulter, hugely talented Draper is looking to reach the last 16 of a major for the first time when he plays American wildcard Michael Mmoh at 16:00.

Draper v Mmoh on Grandstand at 16:00 BST, Evans v Alcaraz on Ashe at 17:00 BST, Norrie v Arnaldi on court 17 at about 18:00 BST, Boulter v Stearns on Grandstand at about 23:00 BST
Draper v Mmoh on Grandstand at 16:00 BST, Evans v Alcaraz on Ashe at 17:00 BST, Norrie v Arnaldi on court 17 at about 18:00 BST, Boulter v Stearns on Grandstand at about 23:00 BST

'Alcaraz does the same as me when he gets out of bed'

Few will be backing Evans to cause the biggest shock of the tournament so far and match his career-best run to the fourth round in 2021.

Evans will be drawing on the experience of a surprise victory against then-world number one Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo two years ago.

"When I play on the tour I don't think about what ranking people are. I genuinely don't. They're normal people," said the British men's number two.

"To put it frankly they do exactly the same as what all of us do in the morning when they get out of bed.

"What is important is realising they're very good at what they do, but they still get nervous. That's what's helped me when I've played better players.

"I won't be thinking when I'm out there 'he's number one in the world, I can't win this match'. I have to hope I can put my game on the court and get myself into a good position."

Evans has lost his two previous matches against 20-year-old Alcaraz, first on an indoor hard court in Vienna two years ago, and on clay in the Barcelona semi-finals earlier this year.

The latest defeat was the catalyst for a seven-match losing streak on the ATP Tour, which he snapped by winning the biggest title of his career in Washington last month.

Dan Evans looking down after his defeat by Carlos Alcaraz
Evans, who recently played golf with Alcaraz at Royal Wimbledon, won 13 of his 33 matches this year before the US Open

A strange season continued with first-round exits in Toronto and Cincinnati, before he recorded his first Grand Slam wins since the Australian Open in January.

After beating Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp on Thursday, Evans revealed his poor run had given him "restless nights" before the upturn in fortunes sparked by being told "home truths" by some friends at Wimbledon.

"They came to the house and told me to just shut up, you need to hear some stuff and you need to get back to what you're doing," Evans said.

"I lost the next day [against Quentin Halys] but I came out and played well. I believe those words really helped going forward going into the summer.

"It was simple stuff, then we ate a good Chinese takeaway. Sometimes it's not all in the coaching manual - it's different folks for different strokes as they say. "

Opportunities for Boulter, Norrie & Draper

On paper, the other three British players have more realistic ambitions of progressing.

Boulter, 27, had never previously won a US Open main-draw match but is now aiming to reach the fourth round at a major for the first time.

She is predicting another gruelling contest against Stearns, who won 7-6 6-7 7-6 when they met in Austin earlier this year.

"It was a brutal match. I'm expecting a lot from her," said Boulter. "She's a real talent. The courts suit her a lot here.

"I know it's going to be physical and I'm going to have to be ready and playing some of my best tennis to beat her."

Norrie, 28, has rediscovered his level after a run of poor form and is looking to match his run to the fourth round last year.

"It's nice getting through by winning straight sets in the first two rounds, but there is still lots to work on. It only gets tougher from now on," Norrie said.

Draper's presence in New York had been cast into doubt by another physical problem in what he described as a "mentally challenging" year.

A small muscle tear in the 21-year-old's shoulder ruled him out of Wimbledon and, after a similar problem at the recent Winston-Salem Open, he feared it could stop him playing here.

"It's weird how this sport works. Sometimes you can be at your lowest point and then all of a sudden you get on a bit of form and you're playing great and body feels good," he added.

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