Barcelona | Norrie and Evans through to last 16

Following opening round byes, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans both reached the last 16 of the Barcelona Open, an ATP 500 level tournament, with straight set victories over qualifiers.

It’s one of those matches I was able to figure out from early on, keep up with the pace, and anything that was being thrown at me I was reacting to it very positively and being very smooth on the court. Stefanos Tsitsipas

The British No.1 Norrie required just 73 minutes for a 6-1 6-2 victory over Russian Pavel Kotov and was later in the day, joined by the British No.2, Evans, who needed one-hour and 48-minutes to dispatch Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi 6-4 6-3.

Norrie got off to a quick start and stormed into a 4-1 lead with a double break but was forced to fend off four break points in the fifth game as the Russian fought back to prevent the seventh seed from running away with the first set.

Norrie extinguished any hopes of a Kotov fightback in the second set, though two late holds for the world number 108 just delayed the inevitable, as the Wimbledon semi-finalist cruised through to face Lorenzo Musetti, the Italian 9th seed who secured an equally comfortable 6-3 6-1 victory over Australia’s Jason Kubler.

Following Norrie’s success, Evans overcame a couple of tricky moments to oust the 22-year-old Arnaldi, saving two break points in the fourth game before converting a break in the fifth courtesy of an Italian double fault.

Arnaldi forced six break points on Evans’s three remaining service games, but the Brit successfully fended them all off to take the opening set in just over an hour.

Evans captured the Arnaldi serve in the opening game of the second but as in the previous set, he was then forced to defend his lead as his younger opponent pressed hard to get back on parity.

Evans, seeded 12, can expect a tougher match when he takes on the Russian sixth seed Karen Khachanov who defeated Chile’s Nicolas Jarry 6-4 6-4 to reach the third round.

Stefanos Tsitsipas was rarely extended

Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Elsewhere second-seeded Greek star, Stefanos Tsitsipas made an excellent start on his debut in Barcelona by ousting Argentina’s Pedro Cachin 6-4 6-2 and losing just 5 points on his first serve whilst never facing a break point.

“I was able to bring good tennis out there on the court,” Tsitsipas said. “I kept mixing it up. I kept being very aggressive, more than I’m used to, so the whole evaluation is positive. I’m happy with how things evolved over the course of the match.

“It’s one of those matches I was able to figure out from early on, keep up with the pace, and anything that was being thrown at me I was reacting to it very positively and being very smooth on the court.”

Fourth seeded Jannik Sinner advanced past another Argentine, Diego Schwartzman to claim a 6-2 6-4 win over the South American who is struggling to get back on form.

The Italian took six straight games at one point as he cruised through.

“I think I started very well, especially in return games,” Sinner said. “I tried to stay quite aggressive, made a couple of unforced errors, but I have to remind myself that this is the first round for me. I tried to stay calm and obviously try in the best way in important moments.

“Now the main focus is to recover for tomorrow, and I restart tomorrow hopefully with better feelings than today. Diego is a very tough player to play against and I am very happy.”

Also through to the last 16 are the 8th-seeded Alex De Minaur of Australia, who enjoyed a comfortable win over Russia’s Alexander Shevchenko 6-0 6-1, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, seeded 14 who beat the Slovak qualifier Josef Kovalik 6-4 6-3 and Bulgarias Grigor Dimitrov, the 11th seed, a 6-3 6-1 winner over Ecuador’s Emilio Gomez.



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