By Glenys Furness

  • Dan Evans last Brit standing in qualifying
  • James Ward lost in the second round
  • Naomi Broady out in the first round.

Melbourne, Australia. Dan Evans continued his win ratio in the Australian Open qualification rounds, defeating his opponent over three sets. James Ward lost in straight sets against a seeded opponent. Naomi Broady seeded third went out in the first round as she lost in three sets.

After defeating the top qualifying seed yesterday, Evans took another step closer to the main draw today. The Brit faced Amir Weintraub (ISR), the first set was tight affair with the vital break of serve coming towards the end as Evans sealed it 7-5.

Set two was even closer and ended in a tiebreak where Evans found himself leading and needing only three points to seal the match. Weintraub though had other ideas and came back to claim the breaker 7-4. In the final set the Brit seemed much more determined and really dominated the set, finally sealing the win with 6-2. Evans is the last Brit standing

Ward faced the 32rd seed Denis Novikov (USA) to try and make the final qualifying round. The Brit had secured the first round victory despite a back spasm, and was aiming to make the final round. Novikov managed to create seven break points on the Ward serve in the first set and converted only one. That was enough to take the first set 6-4.

The second set saw both create more break point changes on the opponents serve, with Ward taking one of the three created. The American took both break points created and this was the difference as Novikov sealed the win 7-5.

Broady was third seed and had drawn Alize Lim (FRA). The French player made inroads into the Broady game and took it 6-3. In the second set Broady managed to move up a gear to ensure the match would go the distance by taking the set 6-2. The final set saw Lim regain the strength she had in the first set to eventually knock Broady out 6-3.

Over on the challenger circuit where Ken & Neal Skupski were in quarter final action in Bangkok. The fourth seeds faced Johan Brunstrom & Andreas Siljestrom (SWE). The Skupski brothers made a slow start to the match losing the first set 3-6, the second saw the Brits get back on track taking the tiebreak 7-4. The semi finalists would be decided with a match tiebreak, this was a very tight affair as the Brits sealed the semi final spot 10-8.

Also in the Bankgkok II challenger is Joshua Milton who progressed through qualifying rounds and has made the quarter finals. Having defeated his previous opponents in straight sets, Milton now faces the top seed Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)

Coverage continues tonight from 11pm in Melbourne and Bangkok.



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