Dan Evans squanders six match points in Japan Open loss to Miomir Kecmanovic

Dan Evans missed six match points in a painful second-round defeat by Miomir Kecmanovic at the Japan Open in Tokyo.

The British number two fought back from a set down and then recovered from 4-2 down in the deciding set against his Serbian opponent to leave himself serving for the match at 5-4.

Evans was 40-0 up and held three further match points in the same game but was unable to take any of them as Kecmanovic, who saved one chance with a between-the-legs shot, broke back.

The Serbian then had his own chance at 6-5, which Evans saved, only for Kecmanovic to win the final four points of the tie-break in a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (4) success.

“That was the first time that I was able to do that,” said Kecmanovic, who is ranked eight places below Evans at 33.

“I was completely tuned out of the match and I just went for it in that moment.”

Nick Kyrgios fought back from a set down to defeat Kamil Majchrzak 3-6 6-2 6-2 and reach the quarter-finals while fourth seed Frances Tiafoe was a 6-1 7-6 (7) winner over Bernabe Zapata Miralles.

Third seed Taylor Fritz, who made a late dash from Covid-19 quarantine in Korea to play in the tournament, reached the last eight with a 6-1 3-6 6-4 victory over Hiroki Moriya, while there were also victories for Denis Shapovalov and Borna Coric.

At the Astana Open, there were straightforward victories for Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev.

Djokovic, the champion in Tel Aviv last week, has dropped just six games in two matches so far in Kazakhstan after easing past Botic Van De Zandschulp, while second seed Medvedev – who he could play in the semi-finals – saw off Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3 6-2.

Home hope Alexander Bublik went out 6-4 6-4 to seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz and Karen Khachanov will next meet Djokovic after a 2-6 6-3 6-3 win against Marin Cilic.