Dan Evans provided the defending champion Roger Federer with a stern test in their second-round meeting at this year’s Australian Open in what was an extremely entertaining contest.
I think he played very well. It was hard to pull away and that’s to his credit. I was happy to win the first set, that was big Roger Federer
However it was the world No.3 who progressed into round three after eventually dispatching the Briton 7-6(5) 7-6(3) 6-3 out on the Rod Laver Arena.
Federer, who likes to take command of a match early, was prevented form that by a determined and focused Evans who had come through qualifying and navigated a tricky opening round.
“I think I couldn’t pull away maybe early in the match,” Federer said afterwards.
“It always helps when you sneak in a quick break, win the first set and then maybe start pressing even more so.”
Evans forced Federer to dig deep, varying his game, employing his ‘serve and volley’ tactics and using his backhand slice to good effect to keep the Swiss icon honest.
But the greater experience of the 20-time grand slam champion, allowed him to weather the storm and after successfully claiming the opening two sets on tie-breaks, rolled on to claim his allotted place in the third round, en route to possibly collecting his third successive Aussie Open crown and eighth overall.
It took Federer an hour to clinch the opening set with rain threatening to disrupt play as both players held their serves.
Federer did gain a service break in the second and served for the set at 5-4 but Evans fought back to recover the break and force a second tiebreak.
By now the third seed was starting to look the more assured and an early break in the third proved decisive.
The Swiss said following his win: “I think he played very well. It was hard to pull away and that’s to his credit. I was happy to win the first set, that was big.”
And he complimented Evans who has a similar style of play to his own, by declaring: “It feels like playing a mirror a little bit. I maybe just have a little bit more size and a bit more on my serve and maybe that was the difference.”
Evans new he had nothing to lose and will have left the court well satisfied with his performance.
The 28-year-old has been ranked as high as 41 but his career has been marred by that 12-month recreational drug suspension, returning to play last year as the world 189 but he will move up the rankings courtesy of making the second round.
Federer in turn will play Taylor Fritz in the third round, the American having beaten Gael Monfils 6-3 6-7(8) 7-6(6) 7-6(5).
Well done Dan.Nowwork on that .England needs you intennis.
Come on dan doing great. ??
This is very good news. Shame Dan met Federer so early in the tournament.