Aug 29 2013
British qualifier Dan Evans continued his remarkable run at the US Open by beating Australia's Bernard Tomic to reach the third round.
After dumping out 11th seed Kei Nishikori in round one, Evans followed up with a 1-6 6-3 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 win over his fellow tennis wild child that in some ways was even more impressive.
The victory gets Evans around £60,000 - almost half his career earnings so far - and, perhaps even more importantly, 90 ranking points.
It has been some week for Evans, who on Wednesday was invited to practise with Roger Federer - a potential fourth-round opponent.
Federer is coached by Paul Annacone, who used to work for the Lawn Tennis Association, and the Swiss said: "It was the first time I really got to meet him or play with him.
"Now I have an idea how he plays, which I guess is not a bad thing. I think we were really just trying to help each other out on a rainy day trying to get a hit in. I thought he played really nice, he's got a great shot.
"I'm still a little bit surprised he beat Tomic, because we know what Bernard can do. But great effort for him.
"To be in a third round of a slam is a huge opportunity. It doesn't get easier from here, but it should give him a ton of confidence. And it's great for Britain, no doubt about it."
The world number 179 had been nerveless in round one but could not get into the match at all in the first set, spraying his forehand and serving three double faults.
The second set was where the match turned, although it did not look that way when he was broken for a third time in the match to trail 2-1.
But he broke back immediately and made it three games in a row with a second break, set up by a characteristically excellent volley.
Neither player was serving well, but Evans did not panic when Tomic battled back to 4-3 and forged ahead again.
He betrayed a few nerves when he doubled-faulted on his first set point, and two more came and went, but Evans took his fourth chance when Tomic put a backhand wide.
The 23-year-old from Birmingham is not short of confidence having won 12 of his previous 14 matches, reaching back-to-back Challenger finals.
The pair exchanged breaks at the start of the third and, although it went with serve from then until the tie-break, it was Evans who was pushing the pace.
His forehand had been a little wayward but it was a shot Tomic struggled to deal with when Evans got it right, and it would become the key weapon of the match.
Evans is a confident character and seems largely immune to the tightness that usually invades a player's arm at big moments.
He played a superb tie-break, bossing world number 52 Tomic and forging into a 6-3 lead.
The Australian saved one set point but Evans powered away another forehand winner - he hit 20 during the match - to clinch the second.
The British player is a quirky character, and there may have been a tennis first when he called the trainer at the end of the set to have his nipples taped.
It certainly seemed to amuse Andy Murray, who tweeted: "Great nipples from @Evo151216 never once seen that on a tennis court... Got the physio on due to nipple rash..."
Evans was certainly the crowd favourite, and he nipped a potential Tomic fightback in the bud by retrieving an immediate break at the start of the third, winning four games in a row.
Tomic has been accused of throwing in the towel in previous matches, including against Andy Roddick here last year, and he began to look dejected as the match slipped away.
Evans simply gave him no way back in, serving two aces in a row to bring up three match points. He double-faulted on the first but his serve did the job on the second to earn him a third-round date with either 19th seed Tommy Robredo or Frank Dancevic of Canada.