The round of 16 at the Monte Carlo Masters was an exciting day, with Dan Evans claiming the biggest win of his career.
The Brit ended World No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s unbeaten start to the 2021 season.
World No. 33 Evans had only won four clay-court matches prior to arriving in Monte Carlo, but has now secured a spot in the quarterfinals thanks to his 6-4, 7-5 win. Evans saved a set point and came back from 0-3 down in the second set to close out the match.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet”, Evans said in his post-match interview.
“I couldn’t quite believe the last ball went over the net. It nearly didn’t. I was pleased, regardless, with how I was playing coming into the match. I felt good. You can never be confident coming into such a big match like that against Novak.”
Djokovic praised Evans, saying that "he deserved to win” because “he was a better player”.
Evans converted on five from seven break point opportunities en route to victory - “The biggest thing is you have got to believe you can win.”
Evans will next face David Goffin who upset Alexander Zverev 6-4, 7-6(9).
"Today was more [about] the way I played. Everything was there. This match, I served well, I was solid. I was very precise with my forehand, aggressive when I had to [be]. [It] was a great match," Goffin said.
Goffin raced to a 6-2 lead in the second set tiebreaker and despite dropping five straight points, he was able to secure victory.
Zverev now holds a 10-6 record for the year.
Around the courts, Casper Rudd saved two match points to end Pablo Carreno Busta’s unbeaten start to the European clay season. Rafael Nadal looked in textbook form after giving Grigor Dimitrov a 6-1, 6-1 hiding.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina were the other winners of the day.
In Charleston, Astra Sharma endured a marathon match, claiming a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory over eighth seed Madison Brengle.
Sharma converted on six from 21 break point opportunities. Both players won exactly 114 points for the match.
Sharma raced away to a 6-4, 4-1 lead before dropping nine straight games. The Aussie faced a 6-4, 4-6, 1-4 deficit before somehow managing to find a second wind and claw her way back to victory.
The Aussie will face Linda Fruhvirtova in the quarterfinals.
Ons Jabeur, María Camila Osorio Serrano and Linda Fruhvirtova advanced in the singles draw.
On the doubles side of things, top seeds Ellen Perez and Storm Sanders comfortably advanced to the semi-finals with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Katarzyna Piter and Wang Yafan.
Astra Sharma and partner Naomi Broady went down in three tight sets to Ingrid Neel and Elixane Lechemia 3-6, 7-5, 10-6.
On the ITF Tennis World Tour, Australia’s Olivia Gadecki was upstaged by Sapfo Sakellaridi 6-3, 6-1 in the second round of the W15 event in Antalya.
Tina Smith also was eliminated in Cairo, Egypt, after losing in three sets.
On the doubles side of things Olivia Gadecki and partner Sada Nahimana advanced to the semi-finals with a 6-2, 6-4 win.
At the W15 ITF event in Tunisia, Aussie-New Zealand duo Alexandra Osborne and Paige Hourigan notched a 6-2, 6-3 win over Daria Lodikova and Stephanie Judith Visscher.
Onto the men’s side, at the Split Challenger, Aleksander Vukic advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-6, 6-4 win over Zdenek Kolar.
On the doubles court, Matt Reid and Denys Molchanov lost 7-6 (2), 6-4 to Albano Olivetti and Grégoire Barrère.
Listen to The First Serve, Mondays 8pm AEDT 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1170AM SEN Sydney & 1629AM SEN SA or listen live and catch up on the SEN App. Brought to you by 1st Serve Tennis Sunscreen, available at www.sunblessedsunscreens.com.au Order now using the discount code SEN.