Beijing | Evans falls to Isner
Dan Evan’s hopes of taking over as British number one were put on hold as he lost in the second round of the China Open in Beijing.
The British No.2 from Birmingham battled hard but he could not break John Isner’s serve who went on to claim a place in the last eight 7-6(3) 7-5.
Evans, ranked 48, would have overtaken Kyle Edmund as Britain’s top national player if he had been able to reach the semi-finals.
The 29-year-old’s loss leaves Andy Murray as the only British representative in Beijing and he plays the top seeded Dominic Thiem for a place in the semis on Friday.
For much of the match Evans proved Isner’s equal but his failure at converting two break points in the ninth game of the first set proved crucial as the big serving American who struck 21 aces during the match, gained the initative when he pocketed the opening set on the tiebreak.
With neither player conceding their serves it looks as if the second set would go the same way as the first until Evan’s defences were pierced in the eleventh game allowing Isner to stride into the quarter finals after one-hour and 51-minutes.
Isner’s next opponent will be Stefanos Tsitsipas , the third seed from Greece who recovered to oust the defending champion from Georgia, Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6 6-3 6-2.
Basilashvili had been on course to pull off a surprise against the 21-year-old Greek, world ranked 7, but was unable to maintain the momentum when Tsitsipas raised his level to strike back in the fourth game of the second set when the Georgian’s serve collapsed.
The breakthrough came on Tsitsipas’ 12th break point and was somewhat helped by Basilashili’s five (of nine overall) double faults in that game.
In the bottom half of the draw, the second seed Alexander Zverev produced a convincing 6-3 6-1 win over Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach his ninth quarter-final of the season.
The German broke the fifth game of the opener and was never really threatened during the rest of the match, saving a break point at the start of the second and then keeping his 9-year-old opponent on the defensive back on the baseline.
Zverev will now contest a semi-final place with Sam Querrey who was tested throughout his second round match by Diego Schwartzman before progressing 7-6(2) 6-7(6) 6-3.