Murray predicts Evans success
Andy Murray expects Dan Evans to be a top-100 player if he continues to show the attitude that has taken him into the main draw of the US Open.
Murray is used to being the sole focus of British attention in the men's singles draw at grand slams away from Wimbledon and always enjoys sharing some of the limelight.
Evans had a reputation as the bad boy of British tennis, more fond of a night out than spending time on the court or in the gym.
But he has committed to the sport over the past few months and been rewarded with some eye-catching results.
His trip to North America has already brought him two high-level Challenger finals and three qualifying wins in New York have earned him a first-round shot at 11th seed Kei Nishikori on Monday.
Murray is a big supporter of his fellow British players and tries to follow their matches, watching on the internet if he can and tweeting congratulations to Evans and James Ward, who won a Challenger title in the US last month.
Evans, 23, will be British number two whatever happens against Nishikori after Ward just missed out on a place in the main draw, but he is hardly on Murray's coat-tails, with a career-high ranking set earlier this month of 169.
But he does have something in common with the Scot, who qualified at a grand slam for the first time in New York in 2005 as an 18-year-old.
Murray said: "I spoke to him. I have seen him every day since we have been here. I was following him and James' matches. They have had a few good weeks.
"It's great that Dan has managed to qualify. It's a big moment for him, qualifying for your first grand slam. I remember how that felt. It was a big achievement, and I hope he can kick on from here."
Asked if he had seen a change in Evans' attitude. Murray said: "I haven't spent that much time with him. We don't play the same tournaments, don't train in the same place, so it's tough to see.
"But I have watched some of his matches on the internet and he seems to be playing better tennis.
"It's quite clear. He's consistently playing at a high level, whereas before he was probably doing it for a few weeks a year. He's strung it together now for a couple of months.
"If he can maintain that form for eight, nine months of the year then he will get himself up and around the top 100 for sure."
Beating Nishikori will certainly be a tough ask, but Murray thinks Evans can give the Japanese player a run for his money.
Murray said: "Well it's a very tough match obviously, but he's not going to get hit off the court. It's not like playing John Isner, for example, where he won't have a say in the match.
"He will get into a lot of service games. They both move very well. They're similar heights and build. They're both quick.
"There will be some good rallies. I'm sure he'll learn a lot, regardless of the result. But he will be confident in himself.
"He's won a lot of matches lately and he's won three matches on this surface here. People think sometimes playing a qualifier is a good draw, but it isn't always the case because they are used to the conditions."
While Evans is straight into the action, Murray expects to have to wait until Wednesday to begin the defence of his title against Michael Llodra.
Murray has won all three of their previous matches, with 32-year-old Llodra winning only one set, but the Frenchman is that rare beast, a serve-volleyer, and that presents its only challenges, especially in the first match of a tournament.
Murray said: "The conditions here can change a lot from day to day. When it's warm here it's pretty quick, probably the quickest of the slams. When it's cool in the evening, it slows down significantly.
"It's a tough match. Llodra is a tricky player. He serves well, he's one of the best doubles player in the world just now, has very good hands, and he's very unpredictable.
"You need to be switched on all the time against him and play a solid match. You can't have too many ups and downs against him because he will capitalise on that."