Evans wins again at the US Open – not even sore nipples could slow him down

By Phil James

Dan Evans GBR (Q) def Bernard Tomic AUS 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) 6-3

Dan Evans caused another upset at Flushing Meadows today, beating Australia’s Bernard Tomic to reach round three of the US Open, while Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot both reached round two of the men’s doubles.

Birmingham-born Evans beat 11th seed Kei Nishikori in round one and, unlike so many Grand Slam giant killings, followed it up with another impressive win in round two.

That win on Tuesday was the biggest of Evan’s career, and came after he had already come through three rounds of qualifying on the New York hard courts.

Though Tomic, ranked 52 in the world, is not quite as a big a scalp as Nishikori, the big Australian is still 127 places above Evans, the British number 3.

It did not always look as if it would be Evan’s day though as Tomic dominated the first set, winning it 6-1 while the Brit struggled to play his own game.

Tomic was soon a set and a break up and the situation looked dire for Evans in the second set.

But Tomic could not consolidate and Evans broke for the first time in the match to level the set at 2-2.

Neither man seemed able to hold serve as Evans broke to lead 4-2 but immediately dropped his own serve, only for the Brummie to make it three breaks in a row, before finally serving out the set 6-3.

Evans was in the best form of the match thus far and broke to begin the third set but again could not consolidate, Tomic levelling at 1-1.

For the rest of the set both men held fairly comfortably but Evans began the ensuing tie break with a bang, playing excellent tennis to build a 6-3 lead.

Tomic saved the first set point on Evan’s serve but could not stop a wonderful forehand on the second and the Brit took the second set 7-6(4).

British number one Andy Murray was reportedly watching the breaker from the Sky Sports green room, and had plenty to cheer his compatriot on for.

However Evans then gave his fans, both at home and the cult following he is establishing in New York, a scare by calling for the trainer.

To everyone’s relief and amusement though, the trainer’s task was to tape up Evan’s chaffing nipples.

The start of the fourth set was the reverse of the third as it was Tomic who came out playing his best tennis to break Evans in the first game. But likewise, he could not consolidate and Evans broke back to begin a run of four games in a row which essentially sealed the match. The biggest scare came at 4-2 when Evans seemed to fall awkwardly at the back of the court but he held serve nonetheless. Two games later and it was all over, Evans sealing the victory 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 in two hours and 20 minutes.

Just as with the first round match, Evans was pleased but not getting carried away, telling Sky sports after the match: “It’s a nice thing to do but I want to play again on Saturday. I don’t know who I play but it will be good to win that one as well.”

Well he will be playing either 19th seed, veteran Tommy Robredo from Spain Canada’s Frank Dancevic who, like Evans, came through qualifying.

The British number three, and after this tournament, number two, has a chance of victory against either player if he plays his best.

Earlier in the day Jamie Murray and his Australian partner John Peers made it through to round two of the men’s doubles, beating ninth-seeded Spaniards David Marrero and  Fernando Verdasco 7-6(4) 6-4.

Later in the evening, Britain’s Inglot and Filipino partner Treat Huey also won through to round two.

The pair, seeded 16th, recovered from 5-2 down in the deciding third set tie break, winning five points in a row to beat the all-Austrian team of Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer  6-2 6-7(4) 7-6(5)

Liverpudlian Ken Skupski did not fare so well however as he and partner Dennis Istomin lost to the Czech pair Jaroslav Levinsky and  Jiri Vesely.

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