Dan Evans beat Kei Nishikori for the first time in eight years, while Cameron Norrie beat Tennys Sandgren to go to the third round.

Evans, the British No. 1 at the age of 31, is on the cusp of breaking into the top 20 for the first time after rallying from a set down to beat Nishikori 4-6 6-3 6-4.

Norrie arrived in the Californian desert fresh off of his fifth final performance of the season at San Diego, where he defeated American Sandgren 6-4 5-7 6-0.

Nishikori had won three of their previous four matches, with Evans’ single victory at the 2013 US Open. Where he was making his Grand Slam debut.

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Dan Evans. Source: tennisworldusa.org

The Japanese player is currently rated 53rd, but he remains a sweet ball-striker and smooth mover. He won the first set by defeating three breaks of serve.

Evans, who had previously reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam in New York last month. He was rewarded for chipping away at Nishikori’s service in the second set with a break in the sixth game.

Both players got foot treatment during the match, and Nishikori appeared to be in control at the start of the decider.

Evans held his nerve and took the lead in the seventh game before saving two break points to secure victory after nearly three hours in the sweltering heat.

“The heart sinks a bit when I see Kei’s name waiting to come through,” said Evans with a smile. The conditions don’t really bother me. I quite like it, but it was a tough draw.

“It was satisfying how I dealt with a bit of adversity after the first set and missed a few chances to get up, so it was nice to come through in a good, tough match.”

Evans will face 11th seed Diego Schwartzman next, after revealing that he is dealing with a persistent toe injury.

Norrie’s game at the Indian Wells

Cameron Norrie appeared to be on his way to a 5-1 victory against Sandgren in the first set. With three set points on his opponent’s serve.

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Cameron Norrie. Source: tennisworldusa.org

The American was limping about the court, but Norrie had to dig deep to keep Sandgren from tying the match in the first set. Then he failed to capitalize on a lead in the second, forcing a decider.

But the British No 2, who is currently ranked 26th in the world, got the job done in the end. Blazing through the third set to set up a match with 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

“I was up 5-1, suppose it was 0-40,” Norrie acknowledged.

“And he managed to act like he wasn’t that interested, and then he was intrigued.”

“I had a lot of chances in the second and then he came at me again. It’s good to get the first match under the belt and then I played pretty solid in the third set.

“Definitely a lot of things to work on. I don’t think I did much well today apart from fighting for every point.”

Read More: Dan Evans set to battle fellow Brit Cameron Norrie


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