Evans scores major win
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DAN Evans rose to the occasion as the sun went down to secure one of the biggest victories of his career before fellow Brit Andy Murray survived an injury scare to join him in round three of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
To come through in the last match point was pleasing for me
Evans stunned seventh seed Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, 3-6 7-5 6-3 6-3 and world No.1 Murray crushed Russian teenager Andrey Rublev 6-3 6-0 6-2 despite turning his right ankle.
British No.3 Evans, who beat Japanese world top-tenner Kei Nishikori at the US Open four years ago, took his third match point against his Croat opponent.
He said: "To come through in the last match point was pleasing for me.
"I struggled with the shade on the court and his pace on the ball was coming through pretty quick, but when the sun went down I got into the match."
Evans, 26, from Birmingham, made the same stage at the US Open (2013 and 2016) and last yearÈs Wimbledon.
He now takes on home ace Bernard Tomic, seeded 27, for a last-16 place
Evans appeared frustrated in the opening set against Cilic, troubled by a damaged eye, as his more favoured opponent cruised into the lead in just over half-an-hour.
But he composed himself to force errors out of Cilic. It was nip-and-tuck and each player was broken in the third and final sets, yet Evans managed to keep a lid on his emotions to secure victory.
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Double Wimbledon and Olympic champion Murray played down his physical trouble after earning a third-round showdown with Sam Querrey, the American who stunned Novak Djokovic at the All-England Club last summer.
Murray, who claimed his second London SW19 crown after Djokovic’s loss, said: It’s just a little sore. It’s not too serious. I definitely rolled it a bit and I’m sure I’ll get some ice on it. I was moving OK. I can put weight on.
"Sam Querrey in the next round will be a tough one. He’s got a big game, a big serve and takes chances with his forehand."
Murray seemed in a hurry against 19-year-old Rublev, in his second ever Slam, and took just over the hour to go two sets up
But he rolled the ankle in the third game of the third, yelped in anguish and indicated to coach Ivan Lendl, sat in the playerÈs box, there was a problem.
He carried on after a medical examination and his movement seemed unaffected by the odd wince and he kept on track for his fourth Slam title.
Brits Heather Watson and Naomi Broady are out of the womenÈs doubles. They were beaten 7-5 2-6 7-6 by Karin Knapp and Mandy Minella, from Italy and Luxembourg respectively, in their opening round.
*Quotes from the BBC