Evans expressed satisfaction with his perseverance through challenging matches and conditions
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA, USA – British No. 1 Daniel Evans is through to the third round at the BNP Paribas Open Masters 1000 in Indian Wells after a hard earned victory over Kei Nishikori and is joined by British No. 2 Cameron Norrie, who defeated Tennys Sandgren.
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The No. 18 seed Daniel Evans fought for nearly three hours under the desert sun to beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori. Nishikori took the first set 6-4, but Evans remained determined. He broke for a 4-2 lead in the second set, the only break point he won out of seven in that set. In a brutal third set that stretched for over an hour, Evans was able to break through again for a final score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
While the conditions of a noon match in exposed sun take their toll on many players, Evans prefers it. “I quite like it hot,” he told the press, “It’s faster for the air, so it does help me a lot more. It wasn’t so bad out there today. It was nice, healthy temperature.”
Coming back after dropping the first set gave Evans a confidence boost in his first match of the tournament: “It was satisfying how I dealt with a bit of adversity after the first set and missed a few chances to get up, so it was nice to come through in a good, tough match.”
Speaking with press after the match, Evans also weighed in on the recent defeat of fellow British No. 1 Emma Raducanu. While he was careful to emphasise that he does not know what she is going through, he repeated her own reflections on the match, “she said it was sort of a good feeling to get that match out of the way, and that’s probably true that she’ll now start getting back to a bit of normality where she can play and get ready for the next tournament.”
After Evans’ battle in Stadium 5 Saturday, fellow Brit Cameron Norrie followed him through to the next round with another three sets in the heat.
Norrie started the match strong, advancing to a 4-0 lead over American Tennys Sandrgen. Sandgren got his footing in the fifth game and broke in the sixth, but it was not enough to fend off Norrie. The second set was a gruelling hour of back and forth before Sandgren broke a second time for 7-5. In the final set, Norrie overwhelmed the American. In the 27 minute decider, the Brit only lost three points on serve. The final score was 6-4, 5-7, 6-0.
Norrie will take on No. 15 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round. The two have only played once previously at the 2018 Davis Cup, which Norrie won in five sets.
Evans will face Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, the No. 11 seed. Their last encounter, at the 2021 Masters 1000 in Cincinnati, ended 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the Argentinian’s favour, but Evans maintains a positive outlook on the experience: “I lost the match, but pretty good memories. I know a lot of things which I did well which worked. I played a pretty poor first set there, or he played a better first set than me, so I know sort of how he might try and play.”
Andy Murray will play his second round match on Sunday.
Third round play begins Monday.
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