Dan Evans and Jack Draper’s trip to the French capital was cut short in the second round of the Rolex Paris Masters being played in Bercy, as both failed to improve on their opening round wins, their first at the last Masters of this season.
Not surprisingly, Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Greek world No.5 and fifth seed, successfully held off the British No2, ranked 22 places below him, prevailing 6-3 6-4.
Draper, the British No.3 and 45 in the world rankings, was also frustratingly contained by the in-form American, the 16th seeded Frances Tiafoe, whose defences held to successfully fend off a strong challenge from the 20-year-old Brit who is still learning his way on the tour.
Their losses means that Cameron Norrie, the British No.1 seeded 12 for the event, is the sole Brit left in the field and could well face Tsitsipas in the third-round if he can get past the French qualifier, Corentin Moutet in Wednesday’s evening session.
Meanwhile the world No. 27 Evans had just the one break-point opportunity, which he was unable to convert, unlike Tsitsipas, who converted twice from his seven chances.
This proved to be the crucial difference between their games which when measured by the stats, showed the Greek was just ahead of the Brit with Tsitsipas hitting 28 winners to Evans’ 26 while making 7 errors to his opponents eight. He also hit 8 aces to the Brits 2.
Ironically it was a similar scenario in Draper’s encounter with Tiafoe whom he outhit in the winner’s department 30-27 with 11 aces to 7 but was just pipped with the unforced errors 10-11.
Had Draper been able to convert one of the five break points he held in the second set, the match might well have swung his way, but it was not to be.
In the first set, Tiafoe broke in the eighth game at the third time of asking, and then saved two break points a game later before converting his first set point.
Draper increased the pressure in the second but squandering three break points when he had Tiafoe 0-40 in the sixth game, proved crucial. He also had two more chances in the eighth only to then drop his serve three games later to give the world No.21 the chance to serve out after 84-minutes of close play.
Tiafoe goes on to meet either Daniil Medvedev or Alex de Minaur in round three.