By Glenys Furness
- Dan Evans wins the Taipei Challenger
- Title sees Evans break into top 100 for first time
TAIPEI, TAIWAN- Dan Evans wins the title in Taipei. The victory takes the Brit into the top 100 for the first time in his career
Evans entered the Taipei challenger as sixth seed. The Brit drew a qualifier in the first round in the form of Dayne Kelly. Evans wasted little time in securing the first set 6-1 over the Australian. The second set saw Kelly playing better and forced a breaker. The seed edged the breaker 7-5 to move into the next round.
The second round had the Brit against Jimmy Wang. Once again Evans was on great form as he took the first set with just one break of serve 6-4. The second was much the same, the Brit was determined to win easier than the last round. Evans took the match in straight sets with the second set 6-3.
The quarter final had the Brit against Marinko Matosevic. Another Australian and one who can blow hot and cold when on court. Matosevic was no match for the seed in the first set, as Evans swept aside the Aussie to take it 6-3. The second was a little closer with the Brit breaking right at the end to secure the set 7-5.
In the semi final Evans was against the top seed Ricardas Berankis from Lithuania. The Brit still had not dropped a set, and things stayed on course as Evans secured the first set 6-3. Berankis kept the pressure on and in the second set forced a breaker. Just as in the first round the sixth seed edged the breaker 7-5 to book a final spot.
The final had the sixth seed against the eighth seed Konstantin Kravchuk. The Brit dropped the first set of the week as he was broken by Russian who took the set 6-3. With only two ranking places between the players at the start of the week the match was going to be tricky.
Evans managed to get a break of serve in the second set to level up the match and took the set 6-4. The winner of the title was going to have to do this the hard way. The final set saw both players wanting the trophy, and it was the Brit who secured the break of serve to lift the title.
Claiming the title also saw the Brit rise from 123 in the rankings and will find himself ranked in the top 100 tomorrow. Evans will be ranked at 97 a new career high.
Liam Broady was also playing in Taipei. In the first round he drew a wildcard in the form of Jui-Chen Hung. The Brit wasted little time in dispatching the Taipei player, in literally just over one hour Broady had secured the match, dominating the second set. Taking the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-0 to move onto round two.
The second round had the Brit facing the Japanese player Yuya Kibi. Again the Brit had little difficulty during the match, taking the win in straight sets 6-2 & 6-4 to progress easily to the quarter finals.
Taking to the court in the quarter final Broady was against Amir Weintraub. The Israeli pushed the Brit hard in the first set, however Broady held firm and broke at the end of the set 7-5. The second set was much easier as the Brit got a handle on the game of Weintraub. Broady broke and sealed a semi final spot with a straight set win as he took the set 6-3.
In the semi final the Brit faced the eighth seed Kravchuk. Broady did not have things his way, and soon found himself the wrong end of a 6-2 first set. The second set was closer but the Brit was broken by the Russian to prevent an all British final as the set went against him 6-4.
Over in Tallahassee and James Ward was trying to get further than round one. In the first round the Brit drew Axel Michon. Ward fought hard in the first set and took it at the death 7-5. The second set saw the Brit break once to seal the straight set win 6-4.
The second round saw the Brit against another Frenchman, this time Calvin Hemery. Ward was in no mood for messing around and broke once in the first set to lead 6-4. The second set the Brit dominated, breaking at will to deal up a bagel 6-0 set.
In the quarter final Ward had yet another Frenchman standing in the way. This time it was Quentin Halys, the Brit was still in fine form in the first set and took the lead with a breadstick 6-1 set. Unfortunately, in set two and three Halys managed to break the Brit once taking the match 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. Halys went on to win the title.
Ward also played doubles, teaming up with his coach Morgan Phillips. Having been awarded a wildcard, the Brits drew the only other pairing involving a British player. Darren Walsh had teamed up with Ruan Roelofse so this was very nearly a battle of the Brits.
Ward & Phillips took control of the match and broke once each set to take it in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. The quarter final saw the Brits take on the second seeds Donald Young & Dean O’brien. The Brits took the first set 6-4, before the seeds came back and levelled up taking it with a breadstick 6-1 set. A match tiebreak ensued to decide the semi finals. This was very tight but eventually the seeds edged it 16-14.
Back on the main tour and in Estoril Colin Fleming and Jonathan Erlich made the quarter final stage. The first round the Brit/Israeli took the match in straight sets 6-3 & 6-2. The quarter final had them against Borna Coric & Franko Skugor. As hard as Fleming & Erlich tried they were not able to prevent the Croatians from taking the match 6-4 6-4.
Kyle Edmund also played doubles in Estoril with Frederico Ferreria Silva. After a very tight first round where Edmund & Silva came through 4-6, 6-3, 10-6, they found themselves against the second seeds in the quarter final.
Unfortunately the Brit/Portuguese pairing were against the second seeds Treat Huey & Max Mirnyi. The second seeds broke once per set to take the victory 6-4, 6-4.
In Munich Ken & Neal Skupski had entered the main draw. The Brits drew the all German pairing of Dustin Brown & Florian Mayer. The Brits took the match in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 to book a spot in the quarter final. In the quarter final the Skupski brothers were against Oliver Marach & Fabrice Martin.
The first set saw Marach & Martin push the set into a breaker, which they edged 8-6. The second set saw the Brits fall to a break of serve 6-3.
Over in Istanbul and Dom Inglot & Robert Lindstedt were top seeds. Taking the first match by edging the first set tiebreak 10-8, and the second by a break of serve 6-3. The quarter final would have seen Inglot & Lindstedt against Flavio Cipolla & Dudi Sela, however an injury to Lindstedt forced the seeds to pull out.
Jonny Marray teamed up with Adil Shamason, unfortunately they lost in the first round in straight sets 7-5, 6-4.
Aljaz Bedene & Antonio Sancic managed to make the quarter final. Taking on Bernard Tomic & Cem Ilkel in the first round, Bedene & Sancic made light work of the opposition taking the match 6-4, 6-2. The quarter final however was a different story as they were knocked out 7-5, 6-1
Next week Brits are in Madrid, Aix Au Provence, Busan & Rome
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