Roger Federer battles through against Dan Evans


Tennis - ATP 1000 - Paris Masters - AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France - November 1, 2018 Switzerland's Roger ...
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Paris Masters - AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France - November 1, 2018 Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates after winning his third round match against Italy's Fabio Fognini REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

In Summary

  • Britain's Dan Evans succumbed in three sets after pushing defending champion Roger Federer hard in an entertaining Australian Open second-round match.

  • Evans, ranked 189th in the world, lost 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 against the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

  • But he never looked out of his depth, impressing the Rod Laver Arena with his shot-making.

Britain’s Dan Evans succumbed in three sets after pushing defending champion Roger Federer hard in an entertaining Australian Open second-round match.

Evans, ranked 189th in the world, lost 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 against the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

But he never looked out of his depth, impressing the Rod Laver Arena with his shot-making.

Federer will play either France’s 30th seed Gael Monfils or American Taylor Fritz in the third round.

“I couldn’t pull away early in the match – it helps when you can sneak in a quick break,” said third seed Federer, who at 37 is aiming to become the first man to win seven Australian Open titles.

“He played very well. It was hard to pull away, to his credit. I thought I played well.”

British number four Evans, ranked inside the top 50 before a drugs ban, is aiming to climb back up the rankings as he continues his comeback.

And the 28-year-old showed he still has all the tools to cause problems against the world’s best.

Federer was particularly impressed with Evans who, like the Swiss great, has a game heavily reliant on a sliced backhand.

“It felt like playing in a mirror a little bit. That was the mindset I had – how would I play myself potentially,” the Swiss said.

Evans had never taken more than five games in a set off Federer in their two previous meetings, bettering that on Rod Laver as he took Federer into a first-set tie-break.

The Briton had been relatively untroubled on serve until the 12th game, swatting away Federer’s first break point of the match with a serve and volley and going on to hold for the decider.

Evans refused to be passive and took Federer on to race into a 5-3 lead with a wonderful cross-court forehand winner, leaving him with the set on his racquet.

But, despite landing two first serves after having a 56% first-serve percentage previously, he was undone by Federer’s brilliance.

Federer, knowing he was fighting for survival, upped the tempo and forced Evans to miss two difficult volleys.

BBC Online

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