TORONTO, CANADA – Cameron Norrie crashed out in the opening round to an in-form Karen Khachanov as Dan Evans’ post-Wimbledon blues continue.
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Karen Khachanov def Cameron Norrie 6-4 5-7 6-4
Cameron Norrie suffered his first opening round defeat since January after losing a close three set battle with Karen Khachanov. The Russian got off to the perfect start as his big-hitting and use of good angles was effective on the fast Toronto courts as he went a double break up at 4-1. However Norrie was starting to gain momentum after the second break and his consistent backhand strikes managed to earn him one of the breaks back straight away.
After saving two break points, the Brit then had two break points of his own when the Russian was serving for the opening set. However Khachanov produced some bold patterns of play and some big serving when it mattered most as he took the opening set 6-4.
Unlike the opening set, the second set had minimal break point opportunities as Norrie’s defence withstood Khachanov’s raw power. The Russian managed to save two break points in the fourth game but couldn’t withstand Norrie’s defensive counter-punching for long as the Brit managed to benefit from a lucky net cord to take the second set 7-5 and force a decider.
Despite Khachanov’s frustrations, the Russian managed to bounce back well in the deciding set as he broke in the opening game with some big forehands. After saving three break points in the fourth game, the Olympic silver medallist managed to hold his nerve when it mattered most to seal victory in 2 hours and 35 minutes and set up a second round meeting with Aslan Karatsev. As for Norrie he will look to bounce back next week in Cincinnati.
Alexander Bublik def Dan Evans 6-4 6-4
Meanwhile Dan Evans made it two losses out of two since Wimbledon after a straight sets defeat to the eccentric Alexander Bublik. After a positive start from the Brit, taking a 2-0 lead, Evans was broken in the third and seventh games as the Kazakh won all the tight points and games. Eventually on his fourth set point Bublik closed out the opening set 6-4 in conditions that suited the charismatic world number 39.
The second set saw Evans fail to create a break point as a break in the opening game in the second set was enough for Bublik to coast into the second round. Evans will look to gain some much-needed momentum in Cincinnati next week as the US Open fast approaches.
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