Miami | Evans joins compatriots in R2

Dan Evans has had a difficult time over recent months and it looked like it might continue at the Miami Masters when Lorenzo Sonego swept through the opening set of their firs- round encounter for the loss of just one game.

I'm really happy, it's been a tragic year so far. But yeah, it's only tennis so we've got another chance. Dan Evans

But the bulldog spirit within the British No.3 who has slipped down the world rankings to 43, helped him turn the match around to score an excellent 1-6 6-3 6-4 victory and join Jack Draper, Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie in the second round.

The win was only his third of the season from six events played and will have boosted his confidence for his next match with American Christopher Eubanks.

“I’m really happy, it’s been a tragic year so far,” a relieved Evans said following his two-hour, 25-minute triumph. “But yeah, it’s only tennis so we’ve got another chance.”

Sonego saved a break point in the opening game but was quickly into his stride with some excellent passing shots to completely outplay Evans in the first set.

The Italian’s serve was also in good form as he delivered 12 aces during the match, plus a number of winners, breaking the Brit twice to secure the opening set in some style.

Evans responded by taking the initiative in the second, breaking his opponent in the opening game and holding for a 2-0 lead by adopting a more aggressive approach.

That proved to be an excellent launchpad for Evans kept up the momentum to level the match with a much improved performance, which saw him open the decider with another break of the Italian.

Evans also successfully held off Sonego pressure when he was nearly broken back and was unable to halt Evans scoring a vital win.

Asked about his switch in tactics after a depressing first set, Evans said: “I had no choice. He was way better than me, and I wasn’t really moving him. I just made up my mind to start coming in and try to dictate and see where it got me.

“I served very well which made it a lot earlier to come in. It gave me a bit more of a chance to rally because he then started to miss a bit more so I didn’t have to take as many risks.”

In other action on Thursday, Felix Auger-Aliassime overcame Australian qualifier Adam Walton 7-5 6-4 for a very welcome Canadian victory in a rain-interrupted match to set up a tie with fourth seed Alexander Zverev.

The adverse weather conditions delayed the match for over half an hour after the opening game. When play finally resumed, a resilient Auger-Aliassime saved three set points on serve at 4-5 to take the opener, also edging the second set to wrap up victory in over two hours.

Elsewhere, Austria’s Sebastian Ofner defeated Japan’s Kei Nishikori – who was playing his first tournament since Atlanta last July – 6-3 6-4.



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