By Ros Satar at the Nature Valley International, Eastbourne
Dan Evans [WC] def. Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3 7-5
Kyle Edmund  def. Cameron Norrie 6-2 6-2
Edmund  v Evans [WC] | Edmund leads H2H 2-0
EASTBOURNE, UK – Great Britain is guaranteed a semi-finalist at Eastbourne as Dan Evans keeps up his great run of form on the grass, and Kyle Edmund looks to change his recent fortunes.
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Evans [WC] def. Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3 7-5
There has been quite the buzz around Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in these parts – mainly due to his announcement of playing doubles with Andy Murray at Wimbledon while the returning Brit continues testing out his newly resurfaced hip.
Murray had noted that perhaps practice time with Herbert might have been curtailed with his winning a spot in the second round, but Dan Evans has done Murray a favour, knocking out the Frenchman with more ease than anticipated. Both had chances to break each other but it was Evans who made the breakthrough, backing it up with breaking again for the first set.
Herbert started the brighter in the second set but was pegged straight back. The Frenchman tried again to gain an advantage and worked hard to stop Evans breaking him straight back once more, deflecting three break points.
Evans kept the pressure on, saving a set point to break Herbert to level at 5-5, before breaking for the second set.
Kyle Edmund  def. Cameron Norrie 6-2 6-2
It has been a bit of an up and down year for both Cameron Norrie and Kyle Edmund, but they were pretty evenly matched in terms of grass court time, with Norrie just having one more match under his feet.
For Edmund it has been a struggle since Indian Wells and Miami to get any kind of traction. He has lost seven of his last nine matches, so his decisive play against Norrie really showed some improvement in that regard.
Norrie could not make his first three break point chances against Edmund count, and was swiftly punished as Edmund converted on his first try. The British No. 1 kept Norrie at bay, taking the first set comfortably.
The second set was almost all one-way traffic for Edmund, breaking Norrie early, and delivering the final blow at the end of the match.
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Good boy versus bad boy? Either way the Centre Court is likely to be packed out this afternoon for the final match of the day, with Edmund’s first tour-level semi-final this season beckoning. For Evans, the picture has been very different – he went 10 for 10 in the Surbiton and Nottingham Challenger winning them back to back, before a first round exit in Queen’s and two wins here.
Fatigue may become an issue for Evans and Edmund’s more powerful game certainly got him the wins in the past at a Challenger and Tour level, but grass can be a bit of a leveller. Evans certainly has a more natural variety to his shots and the grass really lends itself to his game, but Edmund is no doubt a little bit fresher and can keep Evans at bay with his more aggressive style.
The conditions are a little slower here and could lend themselves more to the more attacking player – which would put Edmund in the driving seat.
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