De Minaur Battles From The Brink Against Gasquet In Antwerp
Evans, Norrie advance
Gasquet showed flashes of the form that took him as high as No. 7 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, manouevring the speedy 21-year-old in every direction with his all-court game. But the Frenchman was unable to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set and that proved critical.
De Minaur is one of the scrappiest players on the ATP Tour and he showed why as Gasquet served for the victory. At 15/15, the Aussie was caught out in no-man's land, but he somehow reflexed a mid-court backhand back into play and his 34-year-old opponent made an unforced error. The three-time ATP Tour champion won the next two points to get back on serve and he never looked back.
Gasquet double faulted at 5/5 in the tie-break and that was the only opening De Minaur needed. The Aussie only lost five service points in the deciding set to advance after two hours and 18 minutes. He will next play Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez, who beat American Tommy Paul 6-3, 6-2 on Monday.
Evans hit nine aces to work his way past Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 55 minutes, including a solid serving performance in the decider for his 14th match win of the season. He will next challenge American Frances Tiafoe in the second round.
Norrie recovered from 0-3 down in the second set of a 6-3, 7-6(4) win over Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori in one hour and 37 minutes. The World No. 70 now challenges fifth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic or Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia.
Elsewhere, Spain's Pablo Andujar powered his way past lucky loser Federico Coria of Argentina 6-2, 6-3 in 82 minutes to set up a second-round meeting against fourth-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. Coria replaced Kei Nishikori, who withdrew on-site due to a right shoulder injury.
Top seed David Goffin learned his second-round opponent as American qualifier Marcos Giron rallied past Italian wild card Lucas Nardi 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Another qualifier, South African Lloyd Harris, beat Frenchman Corentin Moutet 7-5, 6-2.