For the first time since Delray Beach a year ago, Dan Evans has made the semi-finals of an ATP event when he defeated the sixth seed Andrey Rublev at the Dubai Championships.
It was tough, I just hung in at the end and got through, But I just didn't fancy playing another set; I think that's what got me through. Dan Evans
The unseeded British No.1 went though to the last four scoring a 6-2 7-6(9) victory over two-hours and 12-minutes to reach the fourth ATP semi-final of his career.
World number 37 Evans said the thought of playing another set just too much to consider and worked hard to wrap up victory over the world No.14 in straight sets and the chance to face the second seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the final.
“It was tough, I just hung in at the end and got through,” the 29-year-old from Birmingham said.
“But I just didn’t fancy playing another set; I think that’s what got me through.
“Semi-finals in any tournament on the ATP Tour is great. It doesn’t matter who it’s (semi-finals) against. Everyone is so good here.”
He added: “It sounds a cliche but it’s stay in there and I knew I’d get my chances. I’m very happy how I played. Staying calm is key to everyone really. Getting the balance, you can’t be calm and dull, you’ve got to be aggressive with my feet and stay cool as well.
“I’m happy with the variation as well. I’m happy to come through. It probably helped me it was a little breezy.”
With his win Evans avenged his loss to the Russian at te quarter-final stage of Adelaide earlier this year but he was pressed throughout the match,
Rublev who started the season with an 11-match winning streak picking up titles in Doha and Adelaide, battled hard but was unable to prevent Evans from securing the opening set which he finally took on his third set point after saving five break points.
Rublev upped the pressure in the second and broke Evans when the British No.1 was serving for victory at 5-4 to go on and force a tie-breaker which he took on his third match point, thanks to his opponents error returning the ball long.
His next opponent Tsitsipas, defeated Jan-Lennard Struff who surprised him by taking the first set, 4-6 6-4 6-4.
In the top half Novak Djokovic sailed through against Karen Khachanov 6-2 6-2 and faces Gael Monfils, a comfortable 6-3 6-3 victor over his French compatriot Richard Gasquet.