Blimey, this tournament keeps getting better and better. Following his career-best victory over Marin Čilić, “Dangerous Dan” Evans has romped into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a brilliant, turbulent 7-5, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3) victory over Australia’s last men’s hope Bernard Tomic.
The match was a classic, twisting and simmering with plenty of intrigue. Putting aside the already much-written-about drizzle drama, the contest was a masterclass in how to adapt your game, with Evans relying on volleys and slices to deprive Tomic of his trademark power.
Moreover, Evans showed a huge amount of mental fortitude to hold his own in the tiebreaks, be patient against Tomic’s serve and feed off the raucous, partisan atmosphere.
“I should say thank you to the crowd but it was tough. Bernard is difficult and unorthodox. He plays aggressive and then slows it down, I found it tough at first,” admitted the British No.3 after the game. “I was just focussed on the end goal and I’m happy to come through.”
However, Evans now has a stern challenge ahead of him in the form of French twelfth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who scraped through a difficult tie with Jack Sock 7-6(4), 5-7, 7-6(8), 6-3 in the third round.
Evans’ stupendous (an adjective too far?) win somewhat overshadowed Andy Murray’s straightforward 6-4 6-2 6-4 victory over American Sam Querrey, but the Scot won’t mind a bit. Murray will now take on World No.50 Mischa Zverev from Germany in the fourth round.
All of this means, thanks to Dan Evans joining the party, that two British men will be in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first since 2002. These are exciting times for GB fans.