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Queen’s 2021: Cameron Norrie advances to semi-finals but Dan Evans loses

Cameron Norrie reached the Queen’s Club semi-finals as British number one Dan Evans went out.

Norrie, 25, beat wildcard Jack Draper, 19, in an all-British clash 6-3 6-3.

In a match delayed by more than four hours because of rain, Evans fell to a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 defeat against Italian top seed Matteo Berrettini.

Norrie will play either Canada’s Denis Shapovalov or American Frances Tiafoe, whose match was suspended after Shapovalov had won the first set 6-3.

Berrettini, who beat Andy Murray on Thursday, will face Australia’s Alex de Minaur after the fourth seed overcame two-time Queen’s Club champion Marin Cilic 3-6 6-3 6-4.

You can watch live coverage of Saturday’s action on the BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app from 12:00 BST and on BBC Two from 13:00.

A good day under pressure – Norrie

Since the South African-born Norrie made his presence felt on his Davis Cup debut on clay in 2018, his rise up the rankings has been swift.

This year he came into the grass season with 29 match wins behind him and has been one of the most consistent players on the tour with much improved stamina and movement.

His experience in the big moments took their toll on Draper, the 2019 Wimbledon boys’ finalist, who struggled to change up his game to meet the challenge of a fellow left-hander.

Norrie, the world number 41, broke twice in the first set, despite having to fend off three break point chances from the teenager.

With the light fading, Norrie jumped into a 3-0 lead and, as drizzle started to fall, the sense of urgency in both players under difficult conditions had Draper on the deck with a slip.

But the youngster, who beat two top-40 players in Jannik Sinner and Alexander Bublik in previous rounds, held on and challenged the British number two until the end with two more chances to break.

“I served well when I needed to, especially when I was facing a couple of break points,” Norrie said.

“It was just a matter of who played the bigger points better and I think I did slightly and that was the difference. A good day under pressure.”

‘That’s life’ – Evans’ best run at Queen’s falls short

It was an edgy start by the Briton, who found himself repeatedly under pressure from 2019 US Open semi-finalist Berrettini.

Evans saved all eight break points he faced in the first set and only had one chance in the set to try to gain the advantage.

The tie-break was equally tight and the early momentum looked to be with Evans, who had been effective with his passing shots, but Berrettini is not devoid of variety himself and demonstrated a lot of feel at the net.

The latter half of the tie-break saw Berrettini step up the pace and take the set.

Evans found himself under pressure again at the start of the second set as Berrettini’s confidence behind his big serve increased.

A slack game from Evans handed the final advantage to the Italian, who duly completed the victory.

Evans can take confidence from his performances, though, as he builds up to Wimbledon, which starts on 28 June.

“I thought he played a good match and I thought I did well to hang around,” he said.

“Obviously I got in some winning positions in the first set and didn’t take them. So that’s life.

“But I’m right there or thereabouts where I want to be at this point on the grass.”

Dan Evans
Evans faced a tough task returning Berrettini’s booming serves

Hewett & Reid withdraw

In the wheelchair tournament, the singles matches were postponed, but in the doubles, second seeds Tom Egberink, from the Netherlands, and Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez beat Britain’s Dermot Bailey and France’s Stephane Houdet 6-1 6-0.

British top seeds Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid withdrew, handing Stefan Olsson from Sweden and Belgian Joachim Gerard a place in the final.

Watson has to wait

Play at the Birmingham Classic was called off with Briton Heather Watson’s quarter-final against third seed Donna Vekic now taking place on Saturday, before the semi-finals.

In Germany, former world number one Victoria Azarenka battled into the semi-finals of the Berlin Open with a 6-2 5-7 6-4 victory over Jessica Pegula.

Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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