Australian Open 2017: Dan Evans records biggest victory of his career after beating Bernard Tomic

Australian Open 2017: Dan Evans records biggest victory of his career after beating Bernard Tomic

The 26-year-old is through to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time and will play Jo-Wilfred Tsonga next.

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Joe Nicholson

Dan Evans backed up his brilliant win over world number seven Marin Cilic with another impressive victory over Bernard Tomic to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Evans, who will move into the top 50 after this event, is into the last 16 of a major for the first time in his career after a gallant 7-5 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-3) triumph over Tomic - who was the last Australian standing in the men’s draw.

After reaching the final of the ATP event in Sydney last week, Evans’ confidence has never been higher and once again his all court game was too acute for an established top 30 player.

The Brit will now take on Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in the fourth round after the Frenchman beat America’s Jack Sock in four sets.

Breaks of serve early on

Evans and Tomic had met twice before, with Brit winning their first meeting at the US Open in 2013 while the Aussie had prevailed in a Davis Cup match two years later.

Despite Tomic’s ranking of 27 in the world, it was Evans who made the brighter start, breaking his opponent’s serve in the opening game of the match.

Yet this was a major opportunity for Evans to make his first real breakthrough at a Grand Slam - and he knew it.

Tomic, too, appeared to be feeling the pressure at his home Grand Slam and it showed as four of the first six games went against serve.

Evans starts to dictate play

Unlike in his victory over Cilic, Evans was allowed to dictate more of the rallies from the back of the court and the Brit began to expose Tomic’s languid movement with a combination of skilLful slices and measured aggression.

The Brit claimed a decisive break of serve at 5-5 before holding to 0 in the following game to seal the opening set.

He maintained his momentum at the start of second, as Tomic surrendered his serve again to fall 2-0 behind.

Evans had shown that he was the better defender of the two and demonstrated great athleticism to repel the Australian’s flat and languorous groundstrokes.

In the second set Evans’ offensive game also began to flourish and he kept his nose in front with several forays to the net.

Set points come and go

However, when serving for the set at 5-4 the first few cracks began to appear in Evans’ game.

Tomic saved two set points from 15-40, the second with an excellent backhand pass.   

The Australian went on to hold before manufacturing two set points of his own in Evans’ next service game. However, the Brit intrepidly saved them both with two forceful backhands down the line.

Evans went on to play arguably his best tennis of the match in a pivotal tie break, taking it by seven points to two after Tomic netted a forehand.

Serving first in the third set, Evans always appeared to hold the advantage however he couldn’t quite shake Tomic off as the Australian earned a break point at 4-4.

Evans thrives under pressure

Once again Evans was fearless under pressure, saving the break point at 30-40 with a thumping forehand.

At 5-5 a few spots of rain only added to the drama and after a seven minute delay a decision was made to keep the roof open on the Hisense Arena.

The set concluded with another tie break and Evans claimed a decisive mini-break with a spectacular angled forehand at 2-2.

From there he closed the match out like an established top 10 player, recording the biggest win of his career in the process.

Murray through in straIght sets

Earlier in the day Andy Murray brushed aside American Sam Querrey in straight sets on the Hisense Arena.

Querrey, who beat Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last year, didn’t see a break point until the third set, as Murray recorded a comprehensive 6-4 6-2 6-4 victory.

The world number one will now play German Mischa Zverev in the last 16.

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