US Open: Dan Evans knocked out by Tommy Robredo - but he still comes out as a winner

Briton's best ever tournament of his career ended in four sets by Spaniard

Flushing Meadows

The best tournament of Dan Evans’ career is over. The world No 179’s remarkable run at the US Open ended in defeat in the third round here when he was beaten 7-6, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 by Spain’s Tommy Robredo, a former world No 5 and one of the most experienced competitors on the men’s tour.

It was a thrilling contest. If there was disappointment in defeat for Evans, the 23-year-old from Birmingham should take great pride from his performances here over the last fortnight. Having won three qualifying matches to earn a place in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament other than Wimbledon for the first time in his life, Evans beat two of the game’s most exciting young players in Kei Nishikori and Bernard Tomic before finally bowing out.

The pay cheque for $93,000 (about £60,000) that Evans will receive for his efforts will be a welcome reward for a player who has struggled to make ends meet, while the points he has earned should see him climb to around No 150 in the world rankings at the end of this tournament. That in turn should enable him to compete in bigger competitions in the future.

Evans was the last qualifier left in the tournament and was attempting to become the first to reach the fourth round here since Gilles Muller five years ago. Once again the Briton gave a performance that belied his lowly world ranking. He struck his ground strokes with power and precision, served well and showed some lovely touches, particularly at the net.

His mental strength was again particularly impressive. Throughout his run here Evans has responded well to adversity and his comeback after losing the second set to Robredo was highly commendable. The Briton went a break up in the fourth set but just fell short as Robredo showed his own fighting qualities.

The 31-year-old Spaniard is a hardened competitor who makes few mistakes and regularly forces his opponents to hit the extra ball. The winner of 12 titles on the main tour, Robredo has been enjoying a late flourish to his career after all but disappearing from the radar because of a hamstring injury that kept him out of the game for eight months.

He was ranked No 471 in the world when he returned to competition last summer but is back up to No 22 after a series of outstanding performances. In reaching the quarter-finals at this summer’s French Open he became the first man for 86 years and only the second in history to win three successive Grand Slam matches from two sets down. Robredo is now through to the fourth round here for the eighth time, though he has never gone any further.

Louis Armstrong Stadium was less than half full at the start of the match, many spectators having left at the end of John Isner’s defeat by Philipp Kohlschreiber. Evans started slowly, dropping his opening service game, but as he has done repeatedly at this tournament, quickly clawed his way back into the set.

Having levelled to 2-2, Evans had chances for a second break at both 3-3 and 5-5, but on each occasion Robredo held firm. The Spaniard also failed to take his chances, having forced a break point when he led 4-3 and two set points at 5-4.

The opening set went to a tie-break, in which Evans never led. The Briton went 2-0 down when he put what should have been a routine smash in the net. He saved two more set points after Robredo had gone 6-4 up with a winning backhand pass down the line. When the Briton served at 6-7, however, a loose forehand that flew beyond the baseline gave Robredo the set after 65 minutes.

When Evans put a volley long on break point in the opening game of the second set the tide seemed to have turned decisively. Robredo broke again to lead 4-1 and once more to take the set.

The second set had gone all too quickly, but Evans, to his great credit, refused to throw in the towel. At 4-4 in the third the Briton played a masterful game, breaking Robredo with a smart volley winner. He made no mistake at 5-4, serving out to love and completing the job in style with an ace.

When Robredo sought treatment on his left thigh before the start of the fourth set it seemed that the momentum might be swinging Evans’ way. At 2-2 the Briton broke serve and punched the air in celebration after his winning volley, only for Robredo to break  back immediately.

By now the contest had developed into a real thriller. Evans broke again to lead 4-3, but when he served for the set Robredo broke him once again. When Evans served to stay in the match at 5-6 a netted backhand gave Robredo match point, which the Spaniard converted with a volley. After three hours and 13 minutes, Evans’ US Open was finally over.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?