British tennis players Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans faced early exits from the China Open, joining Andy Murray in being eliminated from the ATP 500 event in the first round.
In a closely-fought contest, Dan Evans staged a comeback after dropping the first set against Italian sixth seed Jannik Sinner. However, Evans eventually lost 4-6, 7-6(2), 3-6 in a hard-fought battle.
The match saw Evans struggle with his first-serve accuracy in the opening set, with Sinner breaking him in the fifth game to secure the set. Despite an early break in the second set, Sinner had to contend with a resurgent Evans, who rallied to level the set at 5-5, forcing a tie-break. Evans’s impressive court coverage helped him secure the tie-breaker and force a decisive third set.
In the third set, Sinner managed to break Evans and maintained a slight advantage. Although Evans attempted to mount a comeback and broke back from 40-0 down, Sinner’s leg injury hampered him in the eighth game. Nevertheless, Sinner persevered, breaking Evans once more and ultimately serving out the match.
Following Evans’s exit, Cameron Norrie aimed to repeat his straight-sets victory over Andrey Rublev from their previous encounter at Indian Wells earlier this year. However, Rublev mounted a strong fightback, ultimately prevailing 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Rublev displayed visible frustration during the match, particularly when he lost his serve in the seventh game of the first set. Despite his emotions running high, he managed to level the match and proceeded to take the decider.
Norrie put up a resilient effort and saved two match points during Rublev’s serve. However, Rublev secured the victory in just over two hours, setting up a second-round encounter with Ugo Humbert.
Both Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans faced tough challenges in their opening matches at the China Open, ultimately ending their campaign in the first round.