Dan Evans today claimed the greatest victory of his career with an incredible victory over world number one Novak Djokovic at the Monte-Carlo Masters.
The British number one won the game 6-4 7-5 against an angry Djokovic to advance to the season’s main curtain-raiser quarter-finals on clay.
Playing on his less favorite surface in cold and windy conditions, the 30-year-old Midlander produced a barely believable level of tennis, mixing his game to frustrate one of the greatest of all time.
Dan Evans produced the best win of his career to knock out Novak Djokovic in the third round
Britain’s number one put on a brilliant performance against a below par Djokovic
Djokovic made an unusual number of unforced errors, but couldn’t maintain the 3-0 lead he forged in the second set as he looked like he was returning to type.
Evans came back to 4-4 and then missed a simple loss to his opponent’s serve at 15-30.
At 5-4 Djokovic had set point, but within ten minutes he was shattered again to let Evans serve for the blustery match.
He got a lucky line call at 15-15, but then served it with relatively little drama against a markedly flat Australian Open champion.
“My game plan was to get him to go forward and get him to hit the ball when it was low on the pitch,” said Evans, after becoming the second British player to beat a world number one on clay – usually his surface. the least preferred.
Evans qualifies for the quarter-finals of a Masters tournament for the first time after the stunning victory
“It was difficult to get to the net and sometimes I felt like I was running too much. He had a lot of breakpoints but didn’t take them. I had tried to get the upper hand on his second serve early and show him that I wasn’t going to stand in the back of the field.
“He made me wait in the locker room at the start, which was a bit boring. It’s one on one, that’s what I told myself.
“He played fantastic tennis, tough conditions and handled it so well. Djokovic was frustrated, ”said Tim Henman as he watched Amazon prime. “To beat the world number one is an incredible victory. ”
Evans mixed his game superbly to stun one of the game’s all-time greats on Thursday
Serbian Djokovic later said it was one of his “worst performances in many years”
Djokovic said afterwards: “He’s a good player to watch, not so nice to play against. Clay wasn’t his surface growing up but the way he plays on clay, I think he plays in a similar level of quality to what he plays on his best surfaces.
“He’s a very good player, without a doubt… I certainly should have done better. It truly is one of the worst performances that I can remember in many years.
Evans now faces Belgian number one David Goffin in the last eight.