Monte Carlo | Norrie and Evans fall at first hurdle.

Monday wasn’t a good day for the Brits in the singles with Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie failing to get past their respective first round opponents at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters leaving Jack Draper to try and relieve the situation on Tuesday when he takes on the 10th seed, Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, fresh from claiming the Estoril title on Sunday.

It was a really tough match, especially for the first round. Karen Khachanov

For Evans, the 6-1 6-4 defeat to Austria’s Sebastian Ofner, continues his current run of setbacks as he slumps down the ranking into the bottom half of the top 100.

The British No.3 was simply blown away by the Austrian in just 70-minutes who, after a tough opening game where the Brit failed to convert three break points, the Austrian strode into a 4-0 lead leaving Evans struggling for answers.

He did seem to find some in the second set, but again dropped serve early as his opponent, ranked 44, progressed to the finish line here he faltered, producing a couple of errors on serve to give Evans some hope of a late recovery.

That hope was quickly squashed as the 27-year-old Austrian regained his focus to seal his place in the second round.

That match was one of the first on the day’s schedule, but Cameron Norrie had to wait until the afternoon before his was called and unlike his compatriot’s, it proved to be a battle royal against the big serving Russian, Karen Khachanov.

The pair were equally matched and were meeting for the seventh time in their careers, having shared the previous six. Unfortunately for the British No.1, it was Kahchanov who proved the stronger on this day but he had to fight off a strong challenge over two-hours and 24-minutes before claiming his second-round spot 7-5 7-6(3).

As the score implies, Khachanov didn’t have it all his own way for Norrie had the momentum on several occasions but failed to grab the opportunities as he dropped serve five times.

Norrie was left frustrated when he failed to serve out the second set at 6-5, when the Russian upped his game to go on a run of 10 points from 11 to force a tiebreak.

And he maintained that momentum in the tiebreak storming into a 5-1 lead before closing it out with an ace, his 13th of the match.

“I’m really happy and proud with the way I was handling the tough moments, the pressure moments,” Khachanoc said.

“It was a really tough match, especially for the first round. Cameron dropped a little bit [in] ranking, but he’s always there. He’s always a tough competitor.”


Dan Evans couldn't find an answer

(Photo by Mateo Villalba/Getty Images)




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