• Australian Open

Evans comfortably through first qualifying round

ESPN staff
January 8, 2014
Evans enjoyed a run to the third round at the US Open in August © AP

British No. 2 Dan Evans is confident he can reach the Australian Open after cruising past Taiwan's Liang-Chi Huang 6-1 6-2 in the first round of qualifying in Melbourne.

Evans, looking to qualify for a second straight grand slam having reached the third round of last year's US Open, faces Hungarian Marton Fucsovics next.

Evans, the world No. 149, is ranked 115 places above Huang, but was forced to save three break points in the opening game before going on to win.

"I need to come through [qualifying] again," Evans told BBC Sport. "I won that first match pretty comfortably, played well, and if I keep playing like that I should put myself in some good positions in the matches to come to get through.

"Obviously [qualifying at the US Open] gives you more confidence, but you've still got to win the three matches.

"I was probably a bit more confident going into the US Open, I'd played a load of matches, but I've started the year pretty well and I've got a decent chance now to come through."

British No. 3 James Ward went down 7-6(2) 6-4 to Italy's Andrea Arnobaldi, while compatriot Dan Cox lost 6-4 6-1 to American Denis Kudla.

Heather Watson, Jo Konta and Tara Moore will be the British representatives when the women's qualifying matches begins on Thursday.

Andy Murray, who admits he is feeling back to his best after surgery, is the only British player to qualify directly for the men's tournament, while Laura Robson, recently troubled by wrist problems, is in the women's draw.

The draw for the first round will take place on Friday, with the tournament getting under way on Monday.

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