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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Pa Sport Staff

Dan Evans beaten by Ilya Ivashka in Monte Carlo Masters

PA Archive

British number two Dan Evans bowed out of the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco as Ilya Ivashka fought back to book a second-round clash with brother-in-law Karen Khachanov.

Evans took the first set comfortably but was unable to sustain his form as the world number 74 went through 2-6 6-2 6-3.

The Briton got off to the best possible start when he broke Ivashka in the opening game, and he produced some accomplished tennis as the qualifier attempted to move him around the court to race into a 4-0 lead with the minimum of fuss.

However, as the Belarusian belatedly started to make his forehand count, he got himself on the board and briefly threatened to put pressure on the Briton, but the fightback proved fleeting as Evans served out to take the first set 6-2 in just 30 minutes.

Ivashka rallied to win the first game of the second set on serve and then broke at the second time of asking to go 3-1 ahead as he found his length to pin his opponent to the back of the court.

Evans held to love in the sixth game of the set, but passed up a break point in the next to trail 5-2 and was swiftly made to pay as the match was squared.

The third set went with serve – Evans saw another break point elude him at 3-3 – before Ivashka made the decisive move in the eighth game and ultimately eased across the finishing line.

Evans’ compatriot Jack Draper suffered a similar fate after working his way back from a dreadful start before losing 3-6 7-6 (3) 7-5 to Poland’s Hubert Hurcakz.

The first set got away from the world number 52 as the 10th seed took the initiative, but he battled his way back into the match courtesy of a second set tie-break and then fought out an epic third.

Draper trailed 4-2, but broke back immediately and levelled at 4-4 and although he worked himself to within a point of a deciding tie-break at 5-6 and 40-0, Hurkacz won five points on the trot to edge himself through.

Elsewhere, world number one Novak Djokovic made short work of beating Ivan Gakhov 7-6(5) 6-2 in the second round to book his place in the last 1 in his first match for more than a month.

Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas will join him after opponent Benjamin Bonzi was forced to retire with a wrist injury at 4-1 down in the opening set.

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