ATP Eastbourne: Herbert saves four MP's. Norrie, Evans, Simon win


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ATP Eastbourne: Herbert saves four MP's. Norrie, Evans, Simon win

Cameron Norrie has made a winning start at the ATP 250 event in Eastbourne, defeating Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 7-6 in an hour and 25 minutes. The Briton won just two points more than the Frenchman, with Chardy claiming nine points more on the return than his rival, earning only two break chances and failing to convert any, suffering one break from four opportunities given to Norrie.

Cameron saved a break point in the first game of the match and settled into an excellent rhythm after that, earning a break in game two and carrying the lead home for a 6-3 after a hold at 15 in game nine. Set number two saw two rivals battling neck and neck, with Norrie repelling a set point at 5-6 before clinching the tie break 7-4 to find himself in the last 16.

A lucky loser Denis Kudla got a chance to jump into the main draw instead of Feliciano Lopez and could not have been closer to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert who saved four match points in a 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 victory that required two hours and 49 minutes.

The Frenchman grabbed 11 points more than the American but barely escaped a defeat, with three breaks of serve on each side. Kudla notched the opener with a late break at 5-5, saving a set point on serve in the tenth game of the second set before creating those match points in the tie break, denied by Pierre-Hugues who survived all the obstacles to claim it 10-8 and extend the encounter.

Denis was the better player in set number three as well, forging a 4-1 lead and wasting a break chance in the sixth game that could have sealed the Frenchman's fate. Instead of that, Pierre-Hugues rattled off five straight games, breaking Kudla in games seven and nine and crossing the finish line with a hold in game ten for a great escape.

Daniel Evans ousted Radu Albot 7-6, 6-2 in an hour and 46 minutes, erasing nine out of ten break points to limit the damage in his games, taking 40% of the return points to deliver three breaks and prevail in straight sets.

The opening set was wide open, with back-to-back breaks in the opening games and seven break points that Evans saved in games five and seven to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard. The Briton took every point on serve in the tie break and won it 7-2 with two mini-breaks, building the momentum ahead of set number two where he dominated to race towards the finish line.

The 6th seed Gilles Simon decided to play here after spending some 12 hours on the court at Queen's last week, competing on a high level once again to topple Tennys Sandgren 7-5, 6-1 in 80 minutes. Gilles needed some time to find the rhythm, stealing the opener with a late break and never looking back, storming over the American in the second set to enter the last 16.