BRITAIN’S Dan Evans shocked Argentina’s Guido Pella, ranked 202 places ahead of him in the world, to reach the Aegon Championships second round as the grass court season began at Queen’s Club yesterday.
The match, which lasted just under an hour, proved a simple affair for world No277 Evans, who dismissed his opponent in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.
“I have felt good for a few weeks now and have been raring to go on grass,” Evans said. “I got three games under my belt in Nottingham and came into the match feeling pretty confident.”
The 23-year-old clinched the first set before zooming into a 5-1 lead in the second set where he capitalised on the second of two break points to set up a meeting with either 13th seed Jarkko Nieminen of Finland or America’s Ryan Harrison.
Evans’s compatriot James Ward slumped to a defeat against Ivan Dodig of Croatia, in a nail-biting match requiring a tie breaker in each set, 6-7 (8-10), 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2).
Both men seemed to come back from the brink at times, particularly Dodig, who overturned a 4-1 deficit to claim the second set when the match seemed all but over.
Four-time champion Lleyton Hewitt showed flashes of his former self as he recovered from dropping the first set to advance past the American Michael Russell, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Britain’s Andy Murray begins his bid to win a third title tomorrow against Nicolas Mahut or Rhyne Williams.