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Monte Carlo Masters: Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans heading home early after first-round exits

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British duo Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans both suffered early exits at the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday.

Norrie went down to a painful 7-5 7-6 (7-3) defeat to Karen Khachanov in a match lasting two hours and 24 minutes at the prestigious ATP 1000 event on the Côte d’Azur.

Evans’ woes on clay continued as he fell to Austrian world No 44 Sebastian Ofner 6-1 6-4.

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Norrie, playing on clay for the first time since February, started well and struck with the first break of the match.

However Khachanov broke straight back and toppled the Norrie serve again at 6-5 to avoid a first-set tie-break.

Both players broke each other at the start of the second set and Norrie looked again to be in control when he went 5-3 ahead.

But once again the big-hitting world No 17 Khachanov broke back when it mattered and took the tie-break 7-3.

Muller: Norrie needs to find his consistency

“A few more unforced errors from Cam Norrie, especially in those important moments because he played well for a big period of this match but when he had chances, those were the moments when he came up with an unforced error,” former player Gilles Muller said on Sky Sports Tennis.

“But he had some patches when he played really well so I think it’s been encouraging for him. He just needs to find his consistency.”

Tale of the Tape

Karen Khachanov vs Cameron Norrie: Match Stats
Karen Khachanov vs Cameron Norrie: Match Stats
Dan Evans of Great Britain reacts against Sebastian Ofner of Austria during the Men's Singles First Round match on day two of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters at Monte-Carlo Country Club on April 08, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Dan Evans suffered a disappointing defeat to Sebastian Ofner

Evans was beaten in his first match on the dirt by Roberto Carballes Baena at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakesh last week, and the British No 3 was outplayed by the big-swinging Ofner.

Evans had break point chances in the opening game of the match but after failing to take any of them, he went on to drop four games in a set which he went on to lose 6-1.

He improved in the next set but again dropped serve early on and was chasing from then on.

With just under an hour and 10 minutes on the clock, Ofner was serving for the match but offered Evans a glimmer of hope with a break point chance following a stunning 26-shot rally.

However, the 27-year-old Austrian saved it and regained his composure to seal his place in the second round against Alexander Zverev.

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Watch highlights as Dan Evans went down to defeat against Sebastian Ofner at the Monte Carlo Masters

Evans has won just three out of 11 matches he has played in what has been a disappointing start to the season.

He is yet to win back-to-back matches on tour in 2024, losing in the first round and second round respectively at the recent ATP Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami before going out early in Marrakesh.

Delgado: Disappointing match for Evans

“He had those break points in the first game of the match and again in the last one, and had he taken the last one the game could have gone either way. You could see Ofner just slightly tightening up,” said Andy Murray’s former coach Jamie Delgado.

“Ofner served great and in all honesty he deserved the win, he played a good controlled match and dictated play.”

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Watch as Evans kicked out in anger after losing the first set against Ofner

Tale of the Tape

Dan Evans vs Sebastian Ofner: Match Stats
Dan Evans vs Sebastian Ofner: Match Stats

“Dan’s second serve points won picked up in the second set but it was a big problem for him winning the baseline rallies,” said Delgado.

“He never really got into Ofner’s service game. He was a deserved winner.”

Tuesday at the Monte Carlo Masters

MELBOURNE, VIC - JANUARY 23: Novak Djokovic of Serbia in action during the Quarterfinals of the 2024 Australian Open on January 23 2024, at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
Novak Djokovic is looking to win Monte Carlo for the third time

The clay court season continues at the Monte Carlo Masters this week – live on Sky Sports Tennis from 10am, Tuesday – one of the biggest tournaments in the lead-up to the second Grand Slam of the season, the French Open, which starts on May 20.

Novak Djokovic faces Roman Safiullin (at around 2pm BST) with the world No 1 looking to win the title here for the third time but first since 2015.

The top-ranked Serb hasn’t made it past the quarter-finals since then, and he could face defending champion Andrey Rublev in the last eight.

British hopes in singles competition rests with young Jack Draper. The 22-year-old faces a tough task against Hubert Hurkacz (not before 11.30am).

The Pole is in fine form having won the title in Estoril on Sunday.

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Check out the best shots from previous years at the Monte Carlo Masters!

How to watch play on Sky Sports Tennis

The stars of tennis will appear on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel every day
The stars of tennis will appear on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel every day

Sky Sports has confirmed a new home for tennis in the UK and Ireland, with Sky Sports Tennis on Sky and NOW, making tennis content available all day, every day for fans.

Sky Sports will broadcast more live tennis than anywhere else, bringing over 4,000 matches from more than 80 tournaments a year on the ATP and WTA Tours, as well as full coverage of the US Open, all exclusively live.

Non-Sky subscribers can stream live matches with a NOW Sports Day and Month Membership, via Sky Sports Tennis, Sky Sports Arena, and Sky Sports Mix channels.

For further access, fans will also be able to follow their favourite players and gain deeper insights from both Tours via Sky Sports News, the Sky Sports app, on and via Sky Sports social channels.

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Find out all the ways to watch tennis on Sky Sports, including the US Open, ATP and WTA tours

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