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Gasquet Makes Strong Start; Evans Upsets Nishikori

New York, U.S.A.

Evans© Getty ImagesDaniel Evans won his first Grand Slam main draw match.

Eighth seed Richard Gasquet opened his US Open campaign on Monday with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over American Michael Russell. The Frenchman hit 40 winners to only 18 unforced errors and broke serve five times as he prevailed in just over two hours.

Gasquet is playing his eighth US Open and has reached the fourth round four times. The 27 year old’s best Grand Slam performance came six years ago at Wimbledon, where he reached the semi-finals (l. to Federer). He goes on to face Stephane Robert in an all-French second-round clash. Robert defeated Albano Olivetti 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

World No. 179 Daniel Evans claimed his first Grand Slam main draw victory as he upset 11th seed Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. The Briton won three matches in qualifying on his first visit to Flushing Meadows since 2009 and ousted Nishikori in just under two hours.

"Of course it's not easy to lose first round in a Grand Slam," said Nishikori. "I didn't play well and he played well. I haven't played well these three weeks, at the two Masters [1000s]. I thought I was getting better, but still the serve wasn't there and there was a lot of unforced errors that I shouldn't do."

Evans was down at World No. 367 in the Emirates ATP Rankings in March and has risen nearly 200 spots, helped by a third-round showing at the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club (l. to del Potro) and back-to-back ATP Challenger Tour finals in Vancouver and Aptos coming into New York.

"I knew I was a good player, but I just hadn't put it all together," said Evans, who was playing a Futures event in Wrexham this time last year. "I was pretty calm today. It wasn't that much of a big deal what was happening on the court. I wasn't nervous serving it out. I've played some good matches for the last five weeks. I really want to go far in the tournament, win a few more matches. Like today I did, and I'm ready to play again."

The 23-year-old Evans goes on to face Australian Bernard Tomic, who battled from two sets to one and a break down to defeat Albert Ramos 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-3, recording his first win since reaching the Washington third round (l. to del Potro). The 20 year old’s last match had seen him lose in the first round of qualifying for the Western & Southern Open to World No. 252 Robby Ginepri

"I felt very good to come back from that match," said Tomic. "I think he should have got the better of me, but I found something in the end to turn it around. It was a very, very difficult fourth set because I had a lot of break point chances and he was coming up with some good shots in there. I started to get a little bit frustrated with myself. I think on the eighth or ninth one I managed to get it, and very happy I got that point. Afterward I felt confident and played very well in the tie-break."

Feliciano Lopez, the No. 23 seed from Spain, came from a set down to beat Florent Serra 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3, 6-3. Lopez reached the third round at Flushing Meadows last year, pushing eventual champion Andy Murray to four sets.

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