Tennis News: Dan Evans defeated South African lucky loser Kevin Anderson in a tight first-round two-setter with only one break of serve; Evans will face Cameron Norrie in an all-British final 16 encounter, with Norrie having defeated German Dominik Koepfer in straight sets the day before.
On Thursday, Dan Evans will face Cameron Norrie in an all-British second round encounter at the San Diego Open.
Evans, the eighth seed, defeated 35-year-old former Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson – a lucky loser from qualifying – in two hours and 18 minutes after a protracted first set tie-break.
“It was a tight tie-break, and I believe I was a bit lucky to come through that one and the first set,” Evans said to the ATP. “But I played a strong, solid second set and held my own. That made me really delighted.”
Anderson, who reached the Wimbledon final in 2018 and the US Open final in 2017, dominated his 31-year-old opponent on service, smashing 13 aces to Evans’ five.
Both players had several chances to win the first set in the tiebreaker. Anderson led at 6-5, 7-6, and 11-10, but Evans fought himself out of a hole and won the set by converting his own fourth set point.
Evans earned an advantage by converting one of his two break points against Anderson’s booming serve while saving all four break points against his own.
Evans has only played Norrie, ranked 28, once on the ATP’s main tour, in the first round of this year’s Australian Open, which Norrie won in four sets.
In 2016, the two met in the finals of a challenger series tournament in Aptos, California, with Evans prevailing 6-3, 6-4.
Andrey Rublev, the top seed, advanced to the quarter-finals with a straight-sets victory over American Brandon Nakashima.
The Russian world No. 5 defeated the American wild card 6-2 6-1 in 62 minutes to set up a match with Argentine sixth seed Diego Schwartzman, who defeated South African Lloyd Harris 4-6 6-3 6-2.
In the WTA, Harriet Dart was knocked out of the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic in the second round by 12th seed Veronika Kudermetova in straight sets.
In an hour and 27 minutes, British No. 4 Dart was defeated 6-3, 6-4 by the Russian, who is ranked 120 places higher in the world at 31.
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