Evans the only British survivor

Dan Evans won through to the next round of qualifying in Melbourne

Dan Evans won through to the next round of qualifying in Melbourne

First published in National Sport News © by

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

The British number two 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 Huang Liang-chi, pulling away to win 6-1 6-2.

The 23-year-old from Birmingham next meets 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 world number 24 Ernests Gulbis in the first round.

There was not good news for Britain's other two representatives in the men's draw, with James Ward losing to Italy's Andrea Arnaboldi 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 while Dan Cox was beaten 6-4 6-1 by American Denis Kudla.

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

Watson meets Australian Arina Rodionova, Konta plays 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 morning.

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

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