Dan Evans recorded the duel against Novak Djokovic in the third round with a 6: 4: 6: 1 win over Hubert Hurkacz at the Monte Carlo Masters
- Dan Evans met Novak Djokovic and won against Hubert Hurkacz
- This was followed by Evans’ first victory at Tour level since 2017 against Dusan Lajovic
- The 30-year-old Brit forced a decisive break in the ninth game against Hurkacz
- Evans commanded number 16 in the world struggling with illness
Dan Evans recorded a duel in the third round against Novak Djokovic, the number one in the world, with a 6: 4: 6: 1 win over Hubert Hurkacz at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters.
UK number one Evans wanted momentum after beating Dusan Lajovic on clay in the final lap for a first tour win since 2017.
After the opening set went with the serve, the 30-year-old Brit finally forced a decisive break in the ninth game against Miami champions Hurkacz and then took the early initiative.
Dan Evans recorded a duel against Novak Djokovic with a 6: 4: 6: 1 win over Hubert Hurkacz
Evans was in control of Hurkacz, number 16 in the world who was apparently struggling with illness
World number 16 Hurkacz appeared to be struggling with illness but regrouped for the start of the second set – only to be broken twice as Evans quickly took a 3-0 lead.
The game continued in light rain, with Evans – who won his first ATP Tour title at the Murray River Open in January – taking command and producing some clinical drop shots as well as cross-court winners.
Hurkacz showed no signs of improving his condition but continued to struggle to hold the 4-1 serve before Evans closed the win with another break on a fourth match point in game seven.
Afterward, Evans told Amazon Prime, “I’m a little more comfortable with the gap on sand than I was last year.
It came after Evans recorded his first Tour-level clay win since 2017 against Dusan Lajovic
“It was a little easier to move around, I accepted it a little more and enjoyed it.
“I did better in practice and got along when I wasn’t playing so well.”
Evans added, “I’ve just been sticking to a game plan and sometimes I lose my serve which has frustrated me in the past and I struggled to score points for my serve when Plan A didn’t work.
“I accepted that a little more, stuck with it, served and played volleyball, but still good pressure.
“I’ll play every game at once, keep playing hard, and have done that in the last two games.”