Australian Open: Dan Evans receives free passage to third round, while Heather Watson crashes out

Dan Evans was set to take on Arthur Rinderknech on Thursday, but the Frenchman pulled out. Elsewhere, British No.2 Heather Watson suffered defeat.

Dan Evans reached the third round of the Australian Open without having to hit a ball, with opponent Arthur Rinderknech pulling out with a wrist injury before the start of play.

The world No.24 eased past David Goffin in the opening round, and will now progress to the final 32 in Melbourne for the first time since 2017 - when he made the fourth round.

No immediate reason was given for Rinderknech's withdrawal, but it's since been revealed that the world No.48 has been struggling with an injury to his wrist.

Evans will now face either Canada's Felix Auger Aliassime or Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Saturday.

Elsewhere in the tournament, Heather Watson crashed out in the second round to Slovenia's Tamara Zidansek 7-6(7-4) 6-4.

It marks the second time in just two weeks that Zidansek has gotten the better of the British No.2, with the Slovenian also winning last week in Adelaide.

Watson lost in a tight three-setter at the WTA event, and while it was close again, it only took two sets this time around at Melbourne Park.

The 29-year-old Briton lost serve twice in the opening set, but battled back immediately from both to set up a tense tie-break.

Zidansek came out on top, but Watson again came out fighting, breaking her serve early in the second set to build a 2-1 lead.

However, she was unable to maintain the lead and her unforced errors helped Zidansek to regain a foothold before going on to seal a straight-set win.

The Slovenian will now face French opponent Alize Cornet in the third round.

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