Evans Battles Into San Diego SFs
The Briton's 6-1, 6-3 win against France's Constant Lestienne was far more complicated than the scoreline suggests, with Evans saving 10 of 11 break points in the one-hour, 40-minute contest.
He erased four break points in the opening set and then saved six of seven in set two, including three in a titanic final service game that lasted 14 points — by far the longest of the match. Evans was slightly more effective on second serve than behind his first delivery in the match, winning 63 per cent (17/27) of second-serve points and 62 per cent (21/34) on his first offering.
Striking 23 winners in the victory, Evans improved to 3-1 in tour-level quarter-finals this season and 3-0 against French opposition.
He will next face third seed Marcos Giron, a 7-6(5), 6-3 winner against seventh-seeded Aussie James Duckworth. The California native, who has spent time living in San Diego in recent years, saved all three break points against him to reach the semis. Both Evans and Giron have won all four sets they've played this week.
Friday's evening session opened with an upset, as Aussie Christopher O'Connell defeated second seed Jenson Brooksby. With a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory, the World No. 130 knocked out an American seed for the second time in as many days; he beat eighth seed J.J. Wolf in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals.
Now through to his first ATP Tour semi-final, the 28-year-old O'Connell will next face fifth seed Brandon Nakashima, who overcame Daniel Elahi Galan 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Despite dropping his first set of the week against Colombian Galan, San Diego native Nakashima converted all four break points chances he had en route to a one-hour, 55-minute quarter-final victory.