US Open: Dan Evans fights Alexei Popirin to reach the fourth round


Dan Evans
This is the second time that Dan Evans has reached the fourth round of the Grand Slam
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Date: August 30-12 September
Coverage: Daily radio comments on the website and the BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra / BBC Sport app, with selected live text comments and match reports on the website and in the app

Dan Evans made a difficult comeback from two sets to beat Alexei Popirin in an exhausting match and qualified for the fourth round of the US Open for the first time.

The Briton somehow found a burst of energy in the tie-break of the last set to win 4-6 3-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-1) in four hours and seven minutes.

Evans fell in disbelief as his victory was confirmed by Popyrin’s double fault.

He will face Danilo Medvedev next.

This is the second time that Evans has reached the fourth round at the Grand Slam after entering the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in 2017.

He came there with one of the most determined performances of his career, especially considering that his preparations for anger were hampered while he was recovering from Covid-19.

Both players looked exhausted at the start of the fifth set, but Evans was stronger on the serve and managed to step up at key moments.

He dominated with a possible tie-break and comforted Popyrin on the net, and the Australian hid his face in a towel after the last point in the match.

“I’m looking forward to relaxing,” Evans said afterward.

“Returning from Wimbledon, when I was poor, was hard. I could have lost that match pretty easily.”

Evans is making progress at a crucial moment

Dan Evans
Evans had previously reached the third round at the US Open three times, but never advanced further

Evans has admitted his frustrations over Grand Slam form this season – he fell in the first round of the Australian and French Opens, before reaching the third round at Wimbledon.

He started the year strongly, winning his first title on the ATP Tour in January, but has not played many games since winning his contract with Covid-19 in July.

The match couldn’t have started better for him as he broke Popyrin in the opening game, but his 22-year-old opponent took advantage of the drop in Evans ’form.

Evans fought for rhythm in the first two sets, although he still managed to create a few break opportunities, but Popyrin’s great serve and forehand allowed him to lead two sets.

The turning point happened in the middle of the third set, Evans broke for the first time since the opening game with the winner who drew the applause of the opponent.

The Briton in his next service game fought to get out of hole 0-30 and produced a big service winner to close the set.

With the support of his team, who were on their feet after every big point, Evans went through a visible fourth set that saw five service breaks to force an incredible decision.

Both players were obviously physically on the border, and Evans asked the coach for a tablet, but they still approached the net and ran around the field with incredible ease. Popyrin received a standing ovation for an online volley that somehow managed to flip through to the winner.

Popyrin knocked down an ace to win the first point in a tie-break, but Evans has dominated ever since.

It felt almost cruel that the Australian should have lost the match due to a double fault, but he left pitch 17 to a standing ovation while the exhausted Evans stared in disbelief.

Evans will face an extremely tough test against 2019 runner-up Medvedev, who has yet to drop a set in New York but can take confidence from a very good win in the third round.

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