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Dan Evans sole British survivor in Australian Open men’s qualifying

• Next up is Junior Wimbledon champion Marton Fucsovics
• Watson, Konta and Moore still to play on women's side

Dan Evans was the sole British survivor on the first day of qualifying at the Australian Open.

The British No2 is looking to repeat his achievement at last year's US Open, when he qualified at a grand slam for the first time and went on to reach the third round.

Evans made the perfect start in Melbourne against Chinese Taipei's Liang-Chi Huang, pulling away after a tight opening to win 6-1, 6-2.

The 23-year-old from Birmingham next meets the Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, who is ranked 33 places below Evans' 149. Fucsovics won Junior Wimbledon in 2010 but has never qualified for the main draw at a grand slam.

Evans needs to win two more matches to reach the main draw, and he told the BBC: "I'm pretty confident I'll come through but quite a lot can happen through the next two matches. I had a good pre-season so I feel as good as anyone in the tournament, I'm sure."

Evans began the year by qualifying at the ATP Tour event in Doha, where he took a set off the world No24 Ernests Gulbis in the first round.

There was no good news for Britain's other two representatives in the men's draw, with James Ward losing to Italy's Andrea Arnaboldi 7-6, 6-4 while Dan Cox was beaten 6-4, 6-1 by the American Denis Kudla.

Women's qualifying begins on Thursday, with Heather Watson, Johanna Konta and Tara Moore the three Britons in action.

Watson meets the Australian Arina Rodionova; Konta, who only just missed out on a place in the main draw on ranking, plays the American Grace Min; while Moore takes on Erika Sema of Japan.

Andy Murray and Laura Robson are Britain's only two direct singles entrants at the year's first grand slam.

Robson remains a doubt because of a left wrist problem that saw her retire from her first-round match in Hobart this week but the 19-year-old did practise at Melbourne Park on Wednesday.

Murray, meanwhile, will warm up for the tournament with an exhibition match against Lleyton Hewitt at Kooyong on Friday.


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