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Edmund rises to Evans test and now relishing shot at Nadal

 

By David Nelson

Kyle Edmund won the battle of the Brits at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters with a 7-5 6-1 win over Daniel Evans.

The pair are closely matched, with world number 44 Evans just one place above his compatriot, but it was the lower-ranked player who prevailed in an hour and 20 minutes on court thanks largely to his superior success rate in saving break points.

Edmund's challenge is now to get past 14-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, the nine-time tournament champion who has lost just four times at the event.

World number 18 Roberto Bautista Agut survived a scare against Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili, coming from a set down to win 1-6 6-3 7-5 in a little more than two hours.

Spain's Nicolas Almagro also had to recover from losing the first set to Slovakian Martin Klizan, eventually coming through 4-6 6-3 6-1.

Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova could be in line for a shock return at the French Open after recovering from hand injuries quicker than expected.

The 27-year-old suffered serious injuries to her racket-holding left hand in an attack by an intruder at her apartment in the Czech Republic in December.

The two-time Wimbledon champion was expected to miss most of the 2017 season but she announced on social media that she will be submitting her entry for Roland Garros, which begins on May 22, after making progress in her recovery.

She posted on Instagram: "My name will appear on the entry list for Roland Garros tomorrow because, as the entry deadline approached, I had made good progress in my recovery process and I want to give myself every last opportunity to be able to compete at one of my favourite events.

"This unfortunately does not mean necessarily that I will be ready to play in Paris, but that I'm doing everything possible to give myself the chance and keep a positive mindset."

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