Dan Evans stopped his recent losing streak after edging out Lucas Pouille in Winston-Salem. The third seed made a poor start as the Frenchman played some aggressive tennis early on especially on the forehand side.
A 4-0 lead was built up by Pouille but the Brit managed to get back on serve effectively as he won three games in a row with some smart tennis. Eventually though Evans continued to lose points on his first serve as he was broken again and Pouille successfully served out the opening set in 55 minutes.
The second set had similarities to the first with both players looking tentative on their service games with Evans recovering from a break down to take a 4-1 lead. Pouille continued to create break points but the Brit produced big points in big moments to hold his lead. Pouille’s determination was eventually rewarded in the ninth game as the third seed couldn’t serve out the set but Evans bounced back and broke to love to take the second set.
In the end Pouille started to get fatigued and Evans stepped his level of play in the final set as he won six of the seven games, failing to concede a break points as he won his first match since Wimbledon to reach the last 16.
Dan Evans  v Richard Gasquet  H2H & Match Fundamentals
Gasquet has rekindled some of his old form in recent months having reached an ATP final in Umag and playing fairly well against Andy Murray in Cincinnati. The Frenchman’s ability to turn defence into attack makes him dangerous on any fast surface which is something Evans will be keen to avoid.
The Brit will need to be a bit more stable on serve than his first round match if he wants to advance into the quarter-finals. If Evans can bring the level he brought from the final set than he should have more than enough for Gasquet but it will be far from straightforward.
Prediction: Evans in three sets.
Frances Tiafoe  def Andy Murray [WC] 7-6(4) 6-3
As Evans went through, three time grand slam champion Murray crashed out in Winston-Salem after losing in straight sets to Frances Tiafoe. Despite having three set points in the tenth game, Murray couldn’t convert his opportunities in the opening set, with Tiafoe bringing his best tennis when it mattered most.
In the second set Murray faded away as Tiafoe broke twice in the second set and despite being broken back once, sealed victory to reach the last 16. Despite the loss Murray remained positive heading into the US Open.
“The positive thing is that I moved well and served well but my level is up and down with no real consistency,” Murray was quoted as saying by the ATP website.
“My level is around 50 or 60 in the world. It’s frustrating because if wasn’t moving great and not feeling good physically then I would be a bit easier on myself. But when I’m winning a low percentage of second-serve points, that’s got nothing to do with the physical side of things.”
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