British player Dan Evans was beaten 6-4, 7-5 by Felix Auger in the second round of the Australian Open.
Dan Evans lost to Felix Auger in the first round of the Australian Open in a match that lasted less than an hour. Emma Raducanu won her first-ever Grand Slam singles title after defeating Karolina Pliskova.
Dan Evans (right) has only lost one of his last 13 matches against top-10 opponents.
|The dates are January 17th through January 30th. Melbourne Park is the location for this event.|
|Daily radio commentary on Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, the Sport website and app, with selected live text comments online; TV highlights from the middle of Saturday.|
Dan Evans’ finest run at the Australian Open came to an end when he was defeated by ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, putting an end to British interest in the singles.
Evans, the British men’s number two, was knocked out of the Melbourne third round by the Canadian 6-4 6-1 6-1.
Evans, 31, surrendered the set and the momentum after two careless blunders at 5-4 in the first set.
In the second set, Auger-Aliassime controlled the key points as well, and he strolled through the third to reach the last 16.
Evans is the seventh British player to be eliminated from the singles at Melbourne Park, after Andy Murray, Emma Raducanu, Cameron Norrie, Heather Watson, Harriet Dart, and Liam Broady.
Evans was given a walkover into the third round as Arthur Rinderknech of France withdrew due to injury.
He hoped to advance to the final 16 for the second time in his career, having reached the same level in 2017.
“It’s difficult to say that the walkover had a bad impact on me, but if it occurred again, I’d have to deal with it differently. I have a lot of time to think about things “Evans said.
In the last 16, Auger-Aliassime, who reached the fourth round in Melbourne last year, will play Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev or Croatian Marin Cilic.
After a ‘good’ Australian swing, Evans is philosophical.
Evans had a strong start to the 2022 season, winning all three of his ATP Cup matches and reaching the semi-finals in Sydney.
A straight-set victory against Belgium’s David Goffin at Melbourne Park kept his winning streak going, but he didn’t have to smash a single ball on the match court to advance to the third round when Rinderknech withdrew.
“I wasn’t as competitive as I had been, and losing is never easy. But it’s been a fantastic swing in Australia, with enough of positives to take away “Evans said.
“Today’s loss isn’t the be-all and end-all. Losing is an unavoidable element of the game.”
Evans began well on serve after four days without a match, despite being annoyed by loud music from an outdoor stage drifting into the court, and produced the first break points of the match.
At 2-2, the Briton hit a forehand into the net, but Auger-double Aliassime’s fault gave him another chance at 4-4.
This time, Evans was denied a key lead by the Canadian’s long baseline return and an ace.
Evans felt the strain from the scoreboard.
At 5-4, a rare venture forward ended with a stretched volley being pushed long for 30-40, and Evans trailed after a forehand drive volley into the net on set point – Auger-first Aliassime’s break chance of the match.
“There was a kind of a snowball effect going on. I was anxious since it was a challenging situation and a significant opportunity “Evans said.
“When I had break points, I didn’t take care of business, which made it a bit worse for how I was feeling.”
Evans was backed on on the court by fellow Brits Andy Murray, Joe Salisbury, and Davis Cup captain Leon Smith. Evans remarked afterwards, “They probably regret they hadn’t spent their time.”
Evans’ disappointment at losing the first set in such a way seemed to spill over into the second.
Auger-Aliassime broke for a 2-0 lead after a double-fault, as Evans struggled on first serve.
Evans took advantage of the situation to go up 4-0 and easily close out a set in which he nailed 50% of his first serves.
The one-sided aspect of the match swiftly continued when Evans held at the opening of the third set. Auger-Aliassime took a 2-1 lead and then cruised to won with only four more points.
“It’s difficult not to feel better; it’s one of my finest Grand Slam performances,” Auger-Aliassime remarked.
“Everything went well for me today, and I’m relieved to have finished in straight sets.”
Covers by the Beatles and Elton John create an interesting mood.
Evans lost on John Cain Arena, which is nicknamed as the ‘people’s court’ since it is available to non-ticket holders, in the same way as Murray and Broady did.
Normally, this results in a rowdy environment in the bleachers, but the noise flowing onto the court during the first five games came from live music on a stage outside entertaining spectators.
It was an odd setting, not befitting such a major Grand Slam match, and Evans was angered by it.
As a rendition of The Beatles’ Hey Jude played out, Evans created a break point at 3-2, but he smacked the forehand into the net and expressed his displeasure to umpire Jaume Campistol during the changeover.
Evans informed the official, “It’s not like it’s a little bit loud, it’s on the court.”
The melodies eventually faded away, allowing Evans to concentrate on the set that mattered – the first of the match, not the musical variety.
Evans remarked afterwards that they should have kept the music on.
“It helped me play better,” he remarked. “I believe ‘Rocketman’ by Elton John was perhaps the nicest part of the match, listening to it.”
Russell Fuller is a tennis journalist.
Dan Evans isn’t one for making excuses.
He had his opportunities early on, but he didn’t take them, and a “snowball effect” occurred in the second and third sets.
After spending eight hours on court in the previous two rounds, Felix Auger-Aliassime served well and slammed the hammer down in the third set to try to win as swiftly as possible.
Evans had a strong start to the year in Australia, winning seven games (including a walkover in Melbourne). Following a brief hiatus and some physical training, he will compete in a series of hard court events in Doha, Dubai, Indian Wells, and Miami.
He’s getting closer to the top 20 in the world, but he still has a lot of ranking points to defend over the next three months, including his semi-final performance on Monte Carlo clay last year.
Watch This Video-
- australian open 2022