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Dan Evans dumped out of Italian Open by Roberto Carballes Baena

Dan Evans dumped out of Italian Open by Roberto Carballes Baena
© Reuters
British number two Dan Evans suffers a second-round exit at the Italian Open with a three-set loss to Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena in a rain-delayed affair.

Dan Evans's miserable streak against Spanish opponents continued as Roberto Carballes Baena knocked the British number two out of the Italian Open in the second round.

In one of several rain-affected battles, Baena sealed a 7-6[5] 5-7 6-4 win in three hours and 46 minutes, one month on from overcoming Evans in the Marrakech semi-finals.

Since going down to Carballes Baena in three sets in Morocco, Evans had not fared much better against his compatriots, losing to Carlos Alcaraz in the Barcelona semis before a second-round defeat to Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the Madrid Open.

The British number two fired nine aces against Carballes Baena - who did not manage a single one on the day - but he only converted three of the 15 break points that he brought up as Carballes Baena's resilience won out.

Evans would earn the first break of the match in the fourth game before building up a 5-2 lead, but the Briton suffered a collapse in a spate of error-strewn games, as Carballes Baena won four on the bounce to turn the opener on its head.

The Spaniard would also fail to serve out the set, being broken in the 12th game as Evans kept the tie alive, but unforced errors and a double fault contributed to the latter's downfall in the tie-breaker.

Dan Evans reacts at the Madrid Open on April 29, 2023© Reuters

Both players wasted a few break opportunities in another frenzied second set, before Carballes Baena capitulated in the 11th game, as a double fault and unforced error allowed Evans to break for a 6-5 lead.

The world number 24 faced another two break points while serving for the set, but his past mistakes did not come back to haunt him on that occasion, as he came through a nervy hold to level the match.

Evans began to take the match by the scruff of the neck in the third set - dropping just four points in four service games - but three more squandered break points would prove costly.

Another unforced error on serve brought up two match points for Carballes Baena, and Evans's sixth double fault of the day sent the Spaniard through to the last 32 after a frenetic battle.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Alcaraz, Andrey Rublev and Borna Coric all progressed, but Polish 14th seed Hubert Hurkacz suffered a 6-3 6-4 defeat to American J.J. Wolf.

There was also a surprise result in the women's singles tournament, as Colombian qualifier Camila Osorio defeated French fifth seed Caroline Garcia 6-4 6-4, while Beatriz Haddad Maia eliminated Magda Linette in straight sets.

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Andy Murray pictured at the Australian Open on January 19, 2023
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