Queen's 2014: Dan Evans and James Ward earn first-round wins

Ward & Evans through at Queen's

British pair Dan Evans and James Ward both earned opening-day wins to move into the second round of the Aegon Championships at Queen's.

British number two Evans won 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2) against Austria's world number 51 Jurgen Melzer.

Ward also beat a higher-ranked opponent, winning 7-5 6-4 against Slovenia's Blaz Rola.

Third seed Andy Murray plays Paul-Henri Mathieu in the second round on Wednesday.

The British number one, who was beaten by Rafael Nadal in the French Open semi-finals on Friday, was given a first-round bye.

Murray took part in two practice sessions on Monday, but it was the performances of Evans and Ward on Centre Court which caught the eye of the home spectators.

Evans, ranked 139th in the world, fought back from a break down in the final set to beat Melzer and set up a second-round match against South African seventh seed Kevin Anderson on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old Briton started impressively against the former world number eight, going a break up in the third game to race into a 4-1 lead, eventually serving out at 6-3.

The pair exchanged breaks in successive games in the second, before 33-year-old Melzer took advantage of two double faults from Evans in the tie-break to take the match into a deciding set.

Austria's Jurgen Melzer, who lost to Dan Evans, reached a career-high ranking of eighth in April 2011.
Austria's Jurgen Melzer, who lost to Dan Evans, reached a career-high ranking of eighth in April 2011.

Melzer made a breakthrough in the opening game of the third, but Evans hit back instantly as both players regained composure to hold serve in the next 10 games and go to a final set tie-break.

Evans secured an early mini-break and, after a wild shot by Melzer, secured victory with a thunderous ace.

He is joined in the second round by compatriot Ward, who started the tournament with a straight-sets success over world number 91 Rola.

The British number three, ranked 48 places below Rola, broke his opponent's serve to lead 6-5 before holding his own to clinch the opening set.

A double fault from Rola, who was playing his first ATP Tour match on grass, in the ninth game of the second set allowed Ward to serve out for the win.

It was the Briton's second victory in three weeks against Rola after a gruelling French Open qualifier last month.

The 27-year-old wildcard will now face Bulgarian world number 13 Grigor Dimitrov, the number four seed, on Tuesday.

However, there was disappointment for British number four Daniel Cox, who lost 7-5 6-2 to France's Adrian Mannarino.

And 19-year-old Brit qualifier Katy Dunne retired injured at 6-4 1-6 1-2 against Camila Giorgi of Italy in her first round match at the Aegon Classic at Edgbaston.

Earlier on Monday, France's Mathieu earned a 7-6 6-4 win over Aljaz Bedene to set up a second-round meeting with defending champion Murray.

Australia's Bernard Tomic, who could meet Murray in the third round, started his Queen's campaign with a 6-4 3-6 7-5 success against Tim Smyczek of the United States.

Elsewhere, four-time Queen's champion Lleyton Hewitt needed just one hour and nine minutes to win 6-3 6-3 against Spain's Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

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