Beijing | Evans and Norrie through but Edmund falls
Both the British numbers 2 and 3 scored excellent victories to progress into the second round of the China Open in Beijing as they close in on the national number one who hasn’t won a match since last August
Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie both qualified for the 32 man draw and made the most of their opportunities.
Evans had little trouble in dispatching China’s wildcard Zhe Li 6-3 6-4 but a tougher test awaits him in the shape of seventh seed Gael Monfils or the big serving John Isner who have yet to play their first round match.
Norrie’s passage into round two was bit more dramatic as he advanced when his opponent from Chile, Cristian Garin, retired in the second set, injured having taken what looked like a bruising fall in the first with the British No.3 leading 7-6(5) 1-0.
His reward is a possible meeting with Andy Murray and he will discover if that is the case on Tuesday when the former world number one takes on the 8th seeded Matteo Berretini of Italy.
Unfortunately for British fans, Kyle Edmund’s wretched run of poor results continues. On this occasion the Yorkshireman was knocked out by world No 213 Zhizhen Zhang who was appearing on a wildcard ticket, 6-4 3-6 7-6(5).
Having lost the first set, Edmund looked well placed to fight back when claiming the second to force a decider, but it was his opponent who came through, winning a tie-break to set up a second-round meeting with either Dominic Thiem or Richard Gasquet.
Edmund, who recently announced he had parted company with his coach Mark Hilton, has only won 12 Tour matches this season and has failed to reach the second round in his last four tournaments.
With Evans notching up some positive results, the Birmingham native could replace him as British No.1 should he make it into the third round.
Meanwhile in other matches, Alexander Zverev, competing in the Chinese capital for the fourth straight year, toppled Frances Tiafoe 6-3 6-2 in 70 minutes to claim his fifth win over the American in six meetings.
The young German hit 10 aces and dropped 14 points in nine service games, fending off the only break point he faced to maintain the pressure on his opponent hitting 32 winners with just 15 unforced errors.
Also through to the round of 16 are Karen Khachanov who defeated Pablo Cuevas 6-2 7-6(7) and fellow Russian Andrey Rublev who beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 7-5.
Another qualifier, Jeremy Chardy, also progressed but had to fight hard to get past Marco Cecchinato 6-7(7) 6-3 7-6(4).