The hopes that the two Brits competing at the Atlanta Open could face each other in the Atlanta Final were dashed when Dan Evans, the national No.3, suffered a straight sets loss in the quarter-finals, leaving Cameron Norrie, who succeeded in reaching the last four, to carry our hopes.
Evans lost to the towering Reilly Opelka, who had eliminated his own compatriot and top seed John Isner in the previous round.
The 6’11” American, 21, beat Evans 7-6(4) 7-5 but required 23 aces to help him through to that victory.
Opelka was pushed hard throughout and only just squeezed through the opening set on the tiebreak. He eventually broke the Brits serve in the 11th game of the second for the chance to clinch the match, which he dully did to love.
In the semi-final he will face Australia’s third seeded Alex de Minaur, 20, who arrived after just cruising past fellow Aussie Bernard Tomic following his retirement after 39-minutes whilst trailing 6-2 3-0.
Tomic, 26, called for the trainer at the end of the first set – seemingly indicating he felt pain in his torso when serving – and eventually decided he could not continue.
Earlier this month, Tomic was fined his full Wimbledon prize money of £45,000 for not meeting the “required professional standard” during his 58-minute first-round defeat by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Meanwhile British number two Cameron Norrie made the last four with a solid 7-5 6-4 performance over Australian Alexei Popyrin and will require another strong effort to reach the second ATP Tour final of his career, when he faces the second seed, Taylor Fritz.