ritain has three men in the quarter-finals at Queen’s Club for the first time in the Open era after Dan Evans edged a tight contest 6-4 7-6 against Adrian Mannarino.
The British No1 joined countrymen Jack Draper and Cameron Norrie in the last eight in an hour-and-three-quarters.
“It felt a high-level match,” said Evans. “I’m just pleased to come through. I knew he was good on grass and I know it would be a difficult match. I didn’t envisage it being that tough.”
The start of the match acted as something of a false dawn as Evans broke his rival’s serve in the opening game only for the Frenchman to break back.
As Mannarino increasingly found his firepower with groundstrokes out wide, Evans penned him in to the middle of the court where possible towards the business end of the set.
And the break again came as Mannarino limply volleyed into the net to leave Evans serving for the set, which he duly did at the first time of asking.
The second set ebbed and flowed in a top-quality contest between two players at ease on the grass.
Evans found himself 4-5 down and facing two set points but saved one with a backhand down the line and another to make it deuce. He then forced the tiebreak by twice clipping the net to pass his opponent.
It was the Briton who got the first mini-break and subsequently a match point with an aggressive forehand down the line which brought with it a puff of smoke.
Mannarino saved that and had a set point at 7-6 but was undone two points later.