Dubai | Evans falls in opening round

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British number two Dan Evans bowed out in the first round of the Duty Free Tennis Championships to Russia’s Andrey Rublev in straight sets on Tuesday.

Entering on the back of his last-16 finish at the Qatar Open, Evans conceded the first set to his opponent 6-4 as Rublev, who hit eight aces on the day compared to Evans’s two, took control.

However he was broken twice by the Brit during the second set which went to a 12th game, only for Rublev to produce a brilliant winner on the Evans serve to progress 6-4 7-5.

Evans’s exit means that Andy Murray is Britain’s sole hope in the men’s singles tournament, with the three-time Grand Slam winner preparing to face Italy’s Jannik Sinner, the fourth seed from Italy, who was well extended by Alejandro Davidovic Fokina before going through 4-6 7-6(6) 6-3.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov also advanced to the second round with a 4-6 6-4 7-5 win over Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.
Shapovalov had eight aces in the match and broke Fucsovics four times.

However, the sixth seed struggled with his serve at times, double-faulting on six occasions and posting a 64-per-cent accuracy on his first serves.

Shapovalov will next face Japan’s Taro Daniel, who moved on with a 6-3 7-6(5) win over Belgium’s David Goffin.

In other action there were first-round wins for Roberto Bautissta Agut, Hubert Hurkacz, and Kren Khachanov but defending champion from Russia, Aslan Karatsev, lost in straight sets to American Mackenzie McDonald 7-5 6-3.

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