Tennis

Montreal | Draper and Evans still in race but Norrie drops out

Jack Draper and Dan Evans have made the quarter finals of the Canadian Open in Montreal but their compatriot, Britain’s No.1, the tournament’s ninth seed, failed to join them to continue the Brits excellent run at a Masters 1000 event.

I guess to be in the quarter-finals is nice for myself, but it’s never how you want it to happen Jack Draper

Draper, 20, led Gael Monfils 6-0 0-2 in their last-16 match when the Frenchman had to withdraw with a suspected ankle injury while Evans defeated American 10th seed Taylor Fritz 7-6(7) 1-6 7-5 and Norrie crashed out to home favourite and sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, 6-4 6-4.

“I know what it’s like to do an ankle,” Draper said on reaching the last eight at a Masters level event. “I did one last year and rebounded. I hope Gael is all right. I wish him all the best for the rest of the season. I guess to be in the quarter-finals is nice for myself, but it’s never how you want it to happen.”

Daniel Evans prepares to hit a return a

Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The two Brits could meet in the semi-finals if they both get past their next opponents.

Draper, who upset third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the previous round, will face Pablo Carreno Busta next after the Spaniard dispatched Italy’s Jannik Sinner 6-2 6-4 while Evans will take on his second consecutive American Tommy Paul, a comfortable 6-4 6-2 winner over Croatia’s Marin Cilic.

The Brits run is being overshadowed by Nick Kyrgios who also progressed into the quarter finals following his demolition of fellow Aussie and their national No1, Alex de Minaur 6-2 6-3.

“Today was really hard mentally for me to go out here and play Alex,” Kyrigos commented after his 64-minute victory.

“We’re such good friends and he’s been having such a good career so far and carrying the Australian flag for so long. It was just tough mentally. It’s never easy to play a player like that, especially if they’re Australian.

“I just got out here and got the job done. I played the way I had to play.”

Alex de Minaur congratulates his friend Nick Kyrgios for his victory

Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Kyrgios has now won 15 of his last 16 singles matches, including nine in a row, to progress to the last eight for the first time in Montreal. So far the only player to have beaten him is Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final and his latest run will push him up the rankings into the top 30 thereby guaranteeing him a seeded spot in the upcoming US Open which starts on the 29th August.

“That was my goal, so I didn’t have to play one of the (tennis) gods in the first round,” Kyrgios admitted.

“Today was a tough one. there was a lot on the line. I’m happy with the performance today.

“After beating (world number one Daniil) Medvedev yesterday, my confidence is incredibly high.

Kyrgios next faces eighth-seeded Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, a 6-7(6) 6-2 7-6(3) winner over Albert Ramos of Spain.

Casper Ruud kept his title hopes alive as he battled for more than three hours to overcome another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7(4) 7-6(4),6-4.

The Norwegian, who at fourth is the highest seed left in the draw, said he regrouped during a 69-minute interruption as thunderstorms passed over the area after two sets had been completed.

He said time in the locker room was the perfect antidote for a game which had gone slightly stale as he battled the Spaniard.

“Thanks to the weather gods,” he said. “It was a tough battle, the first two sets, two hours 20 minutes of good intensity.

“But I was feeling it a bit in the legs, it was tough to find my intensity. The rain gave me time to breathe and regain some energy.”

Ruud wrapped up a long afternoon on his fourth match point, ending with 54 winners and 39 unforced errors and will face the local boy, Auger Aliassime as the sixth seed, is the second highest seeded player left in the draw.

It could prove to be another battle.

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