Birmingham's Dan Evans’ fairytale of New York continued today with victory over Bernard Tomic at the US Open –17 months after being told he was not good enough to practise with the Australian.
Evans gained revenge in the best possible way by recovering from a set and a break down to defeat world No.52 Tomic 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 in their second-round meeting at Flushing Meadows.
British No.1 Andy Murray will hope to join Evans in the third round tonight when he faces Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer. But for now the buzz surrounds Evans, the world No.179 who had never won more than one match in qualifying before New York.
And after beating Tomic, he revealed the pair had been due to practise at last year’s Miami Masters, only for the Briton to be told to leave by the Australian’s father John.
“I was there playing qualifiers,” said Evans.
“His dad sort of fobbed me off and said I wasn’t good enough to practise with him. I remembered that. We went to practise, it was all booked. I got to the court. His dad said, ‘No, no, he’s a qualifier, I’m not hitting with you.’ It was a bit embarrassing.”
Evans battled back after Tomic raced through the first set in 22 minutes to take the second, before holding his nerve in a vital third set tie-break which proved the crucial moment of the match.
Next up for Evans is 19th seed Tommy Robredo, with victory more than likely setting up a fourth-round meeting with Roger Federer, who brushed aside Carlos Berlocq in his second-round game yesterday. Rafael Nadal is also through after making short work of Rogerio Dutra Silva.
Top seed Novak Djokovic resumes his campaign today against Germany’s Benjamin Becker, while Britain’s Laura Robson is in action as she faces China’s fifth seed Li Na in the third round of the women’s singles.