By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon

  • Dan Evans def. Nikoloz Basilashvili [18]
  • Evans v Joao Sousa | First meeting
WIMBLEDON, UK – Dan Evans could not stop the tears as he equalled his best performance at Wimbledon by reaching the third round, where he will face Joao Sousa.

 

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Dan Evans def. Nikoloz Basilashvili [18]

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The remarkable run of Dan Evans on the grass continued as he sent the No, 18 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili packing in a tense straight-sets win. The pair traded breaks at the start of the match, before Evans regained the advantage, breaking to take the first set. At times, at changeovers, Basilashvili seemed to inhabit the look of someone who was miles away from SW19, especially in a commanding second set by the Brit, who broke at the start and end of the set for a comfortable two set lead.

Things looked a lot tighter though in the third set. It certainly started Evans’ way as he broke early once more for the lead, but suddenly Basilashvili came back to life, saving two match points, and another in the next game before breaking Evans as he tried to serve out for the match.

It was a lease of life that propelled the Georgian towards a tie-break, but Evans ran away with it, finally making good on his fifth match point in total. Emotions ran away with him at the end of the match, and he explained why he had been in tears as he reached the third round for the second time in his career.

“Obviously a lot of my friends were here, people who have helped me so much. I don’t know, just got the better of me today. There’s plenty more tennis to be played in this tournament, so I won’t be resting on that win.

“It was a great win to beat Nikoloz. It was a tough match. Almost made it at the end where I needed to finish the match. More release than anything, if I’m honest with you.”

 

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Evans v Joao Sousa | First meeting

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Three years ago, Evans made the third round of Wimbledon, facing Roger Federer, and it looks as though his career was on the upswing. The following year he made his first ATP World Tour final, but as the grass court swing was approaching, he was banned from playing professional tennis after testing positive for cocaine.

His tennis return has been a bumpy one, failing to be given a wildcard even into Wimbledon but played pre-qualifying in a bid to make the main qualifying event. He fell in the second round there.

Sousa’s success here has come about thanks to a game based very strongly on a serve and forehand combination. Having started put preferring clay, his game has evolved to an all-court style and he has done well in warn-up tournaments in the past, so he is not to be estimated.

Evans has played a lot of events but seems to be going from strength to strength. He can come through this one, but it is doubtful it will be quite as straightforward as his matches to date.

Prediction: Evans in four sets.

 

How to Watch/Follow Wimbledon 2019

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