US Open: Dan Evans’ new beginning earns the respect of his peers

 

Flushing Meadows

His remarkable run at the US Open may be over, but Dan Evans is hoping that this is just the beginning.

After the best fortnight of the Briton’s career had ended in a third-round defeat to Tommy Robredo in a pulsating match in Louis Armstrong Stadium on Saturday night, Evans set his sights on making tournaments like this the rule, rather than the exception.

“It was a great experience,” said Evans, the world No 179, following his 7-6, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 loss. “No one else [from Britain] has qualified and won two matches here for a long time bar Andy [Murray]. It’s a good stepping stone, but I’m not where I want to be. I’m not in the top 100. I’ve got work to do.

“It’s definitely helped to see how a lot of the guys work, day in day out. I think quite a few of them have been impressed by how I’ve done, so it’s been good. To win two matches and have that match tonight shows that I’m not a Futures player, and probably better than a Challenger player as well.

“It’s pretty easy for everyone to tell you: ‘You should be doing this, you could be doing that’. Until you do it, you don’t know you can. I’ve done it now in individual competition.”

While Evans’ results here have been stunning – three victories in the qualifying competition and wins over Kei Nishikori and Bernard Tomic in the main draw – it has been the quality of his performances that have given optimism for the future.

Even in defeat to Robredo, who is a former world No 5, Evans impressed hugely. After three hours and 13 minutes, the 23-year-old from Birmingham was clearly the stronger player physically, while his mental strength had been evident in the way he responded to a poor second set.

If Evans had converted one of the two points he had to win the fourth set – when he served at 5-4 and 40-15 he hit a double fault and a forehand long – he would have been the clear favourite to go through to a dream fourth-round meeting with Roger Federer.

Britain’s Davis Cup captain, Leon Smith, who has been coaching Evans here, said: “I am so proud of him and I think everyone who loves tennis, especially from a British point of view, will be very proud of Dan Evans, because you look at the effort that he’s put in, not just to come through qualies but the last two matches and then tonight’s match. He’s worked his socks off. He’s given everything and played with such high quality.”

Murray was also impressed. The world No 3 praised his fellow Briton’s “amazing fighting, great attitude” and noted how he had looked fresher than Robredo at the end. “Never thought that would happen,” Murray added on Twitter.

Evans was proud to have earned Murray’s praise. “He doesn’t have to do that,” Evans said. “I’ve definitely seen a change in his personality towards me. Especially after I came through qualies, I think he is giving me more respect now.”

Next up for Evans will be Britain’s Davis Cup World Group play-off away to Croatia, which begins in 11 days’ time on a clay court in Umag. Murray says he will play, which leaves Evans and James Ward contesting the No 2 singles spot. The absence of world No 15 Marin Cilic, who has not played since Wimbledon, means that Croatia’s leading singles player will be Ivan Dodig, the world No 38.

“I haven’t played a lot on clay,” Evans said. “Dodig will be No 1 and if I play I will be No 2. By the time I get home and start hitting again I will have had 10 days on the clay. I think I can beat Dodig. If I’m struggling on the clay and James is playing better then I will be happy to be a cheerleader.”

Beyond that, Evans is determined to continue building his world ranking. He is likely to be ranked around No 150 at the end of this tournament and has set his sights on being ranked high enough to enter the main draw at the Australian Open in January. He would probably need to climb another 50 places to do that, but he does not have many points to defend between now and the end of the year.

News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
As Loki in The Avengers (2012)
filmRead Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon on prospect of playing Loki
Voices
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
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.

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star