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Dan Evans dumped out of Los Cabos Open by Thanasi Kokkinakis

Dan Evans dumped out of Los Cabos Open by Thanasi Kokkinakis
© Reuters
British number two Dan Evans is eliminated from the Los Cabos Open by Thanasi Kokkinakis, who overcomes the 33-year-old 6-4 6-2 in the second round.

Dan Evans's run at the Los Cabos Open came to an end in the second round as the British number two was eliminated by Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets.

The 33-year-old had earned an impressive scalp over Roman Safiullin in round one to set up a tie with Kokkinakis, who in turn had denied the Briton a meeting with his compatriot Jack Draper.

Evans had failed to beat Kokkinakis in any of their previous two ATP Tour-level meetings, though, and the Australian maintained his 100% record over the Brit at the top level with a 6-4 6-2 triumph in just over two hours.

Kokkinakis and Evans renewed hostilities in Mexico after the former had dumped the Briton out of the French Open with a straight-sets win in last year's first round, although Evans had one win to his name against the Australian from the 2021 Nottingham Challenger event.

The British number two - full of confidence after his unexpected beating of Safiullin - made the stronger start to Wednesday's battle, bringing up two break points in Kokkinakis's first service game, albeit while failing to take either of them.

Nevertheless, Evans sealed an emphatic opening love hold with back-to-back aces, and the 33-year-old would draw first blood with a break for a 3-2 lead, only to lose serve immediately afterwards as Kokkinakis got back on terms.

Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis pictured at the Australian Open on February 11, 2021© Reuters

Both men beat away another break point for the other before Evans fell short in the 10th, falling 40-15 down while serving to stay in the set, and Kokkinakis converted his second break opportunity to scrape a closely-fought opener.

Neither man fashioned a single opportunity to break in the opening five games of the second set, but Kokkinakis's pressure eventually paid dividends, as he moved a set and a break up with a 4-2 advantage.

A trio of aces helped the 27-year-old come through a challenging service game immediately afterwards, and despite wasting two match points on the Evans serve, the third time was the charm for Kokkinakis, who reached the quarters on a four-game winning sequence.

Evans marginally edged out Kokkinakis on first-serve points with 69% compared to 66%, but the Briton only managed to take one of the five chances he brought up to break the world number 103, who earned 63% of points behind his second serve.

Kokkinakis now faces a daunting quarter-final with top seed Alexander Zverev, who eased past Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3 6-0 in the second round, but the Brits will be back in action later on Thursday evening.

Defending Rio Open champion Cameron Norrie will face Chile's Tomas Barrios Vera in the second round of the ATP 500 tournament, in which Carlos Alcaraz - who lost to the British number one in the 2023 final - was forced to withdraw on Wednesday.

The world number two retired just two games into his clash with Thiago Monteiro due to an ankle injury, but he is optimistic that he will shake off the problem in time to defend his Indian Wells Masters crown in March.

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