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Evans looked out of sorts as he slipped to a 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-3 defeat to Swedish world number 95 Mikael Ymer.
The 29th seed found himself a break down after a slow start and was a set behind following a 14-minute ninth game in which he saved five set points, and squandered two break points, before eventually succumbing.
But the fist pumps were out 43 minutes later when Evans forced two set points on his own serve and levelled the match when Ymer netted a backhand.
An immediate break in the third seemed to have maintained the 32-year-old’s momentum, but a rapid response from Ymer saw him reel off six games in a row to move 2-1 ahead.
Evans had the doctor on court between sets but re-emerged to break again at the start of the fourth.
However, he wilted again as 23-year-old Ymer got stronger and took the win in three hours and 22 minutes.