Barcelona Open: Britons Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans cruise into last 16

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Cameron Norrie in second-round action at the Barcelona Open
Seventh seed Cameron Norrie received a bye in the opening round of the Barcelona Open
Britons Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans both claimed comfortable straight-set victories to reach the last 16 of the Barcelona Open.

British number one Norrie convincingly beat Russian qualifier Pavel Kotov 6-1 6-2 in one hour 15 minutes.

Later, Evans beat Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi 6-2 6-3 to also progress.

Elsewhere, world number one Novak Djokovic fought back to beat France’s Luca Van Assche and reach the quarter-final of the Srpska Open.

The Serb squandered three set points in the opener before 18-year-old Van Assche took the tie-break, but Djokovic broke twice in the second set to force a deciding set and eventually win his opening match 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-2.

Djokovic said before the match that his elbow was “not in an ideal condition” after his shock defeat by Italy’s ninth seed Lorenzo Musetti at the Monte Carlo Masters last week, when his arm was strapped up.

The 35-year-old also wore strapping on Wednesday when he lost the opening set at the Srpska Open but was more comfortable in the second and third sets when he took it off, sweeping through to win in two hours and 38 minutes.

Djokovic, who is bidding for a record 23rd men’s Grand Slam title at the French Open next month, will play fellow countryman Dusan Lajovic or Gregoire Barrere of France in the quarter-finals.

Brit Liam Broady exited the tournament following a 6-3 6-0 first-round defeat to home favourite Damir Dzumhur.

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Briton Norrie dropped just three games during a dominant display against 108th-ranked Kotov while British number two Evans broke Arnaldi three times on the clay in an equally confident display and will meet Russian Karen Khachanov, ranked 11th in the world, in the next round.

World number 13 Norrie, who won a clay-court title at the Rio Open in February, will face Musetti, who was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters by compatriot Jannik Sinner following his victory over Djokovic, in the next round of the Barcelona Open.

Fourth seed Sinner reached the third round in Barcelona with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.

Meanwhile, fellow seeds Alex de Minaur, of Australia, Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov and Canadian Denis Shapovalov also made it through to the last 16.

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