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Murray, Andy

15.04.2021 - 16:06 Uhr

Daniel Evans recorded the biggest win of his career on Thursday at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters to end World No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s unbeaten start to the 2021 ATP Tour season. Evans, who had won only four clay-court matches prior to arriving in Monte-Carlo, booked a place in his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final with a stunning 6-4, 7-5 victory over the 2013 and 2015 champion in two hours and nine minutes.World No. 33 Evans, who used his slice to great effect, held his nerve after seeing a double-break lead evaporate, then fought back from 0-3 down in the second set. He saved one set point at 4-5, 30/40 en route to his fourth Top 10 victory (4-14 lifetime) that ended Djokovic's perfect 10-0 start to 2021, which includes lifting his ninth Australian Open crown (d. Medvedev).[WATCH LIVE 1]“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. It is clearly a big win and I am delighted that I got through, especially being a break down and [having had] little difficulties in the first set. It was really pleasing and I am delighted.“The biggest thing is, you have got to believe you can win. I can walk on saying it, but you have really got to believe it. Of course, I doubted myself in the match. Serving it out is not easy. You have got all sorts [of things] running through your head. I am just happy with how it went and it will be one to savour for maybe after the tournament, to tell the kids and grandkids that you beat the World No. 1. It is a nice one.”Graphic courtesy Hawk-Eye Innovations/ATP MediaThe 30-year-old Evans, who captured his first ATP Tour title in February at the Murray River Open (d. Auger-Aliassime), will now play Belgian No. 11 seed David Goffin, who knocked out fifth-seeded German Alexander Zverev 6-4, 7-6(7) in one hour and 51 minutes. Goffin saved one set point at 6/7 in the second set tie-break and closed out on his fifth match point.Evans leads Goffin 1-0 in their ATP Head2Head series, winning 6-4, 6-4 at the 2020 ATP Cup. Goffin, who reached the 2017 Monte-Carlo semi-finals, captured his fifth ATP Tour title in February at the Open Sud de France (d. Bautista Agut).Djokovic praised Evans, saying: "He deserved to win. He was a better player. Just more focused I guess and played with a better quality in the decisive moments. This has been probably one of the worst matches and performances from my side I can recall in the [recent] years."Yesterday, I played [a] pretty good match I thought. Today, was completely the opposite of what I felt yesterday. [It] was obviously very, very windy, tough to play in these kind of conditions against a guy like Evans who makes you move. He's very unpredictable with his shots. He dismantled my game."Evans got off to a great start, winning 12 of the first 17 points for a 3-0 lead as Djokovic appeared to struggle in the windy conditions. The World No. 1, who looked sharp on his ATP Tour return against Jannik Sinner on Wednesday, recovered to 2-3 and held two break points with Evans serving at 15/40, but the Briton clinched the 10-minute sixth game.Once Djokovic drew Evans to the net, he created errors and broke back to 4-4, only for Evans to dig deep and break for a third time in their first ATP Head2Head meeting. Looking like an experienced clay-courter, Evans let out of a roar of delight upon clinching the 57-minute opener, after Djokovic committed his 23rd unforced error.Djokovic struck back immediately, dialing in on his return of serve and forcing Evans further behind the baseline. Like Evans in the first set, the Serbian star gained a 3-0 advantage by targeting his opponent’s slice backhand and moving to the net to finish off points. But Evans kept fighting and produced a fine forehand winner to break in the fifth game. With Djokovic on the ropes at 4-4, 15/30, Evans hit a short backhand into the net. The miss could have proved crucial, but Evans brushed it off and held his nerve in the closing stages. Djokovic missed out on one set point with a backhand into the net on Evans’ serve at 4-5, 30/40, and later handed Evans a 6-5 lead with a double fault. Evans secured the biggest win of his career with a forehand winner.Did You Know?Evans came into the second Masters 1000 tournament of 2021 with a 4-14 career record on clay courts.

14.04.2021 - 17:06 Uhr

World No. 1 and two-time former champion Novak Djokovic claimed a 6-4, 6-2 victory against #NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner on Wednesday in a battle of generations at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. It was a meeting between the leaders of the FedEx ATP Race To Turin and the ATP Race To Milan.In his first appearance since his ninth Australian Open title run in February, Djokovic fired 20 winners to move past the Miami runner-up in one hour and 34 minutes. Djokovic kept Sinner off balance with frequent drop shots and extracted errors with great defensive skill from the baseline. “It feels great [to be back and] also playing in Monaco, where I reside,” said Djokovic in his post-match interview. “I have used this club as a training base for almost 15 years, so it feels like playing at home.“It was a very good encounter. I thought it was a great first match [and] a big challenge for me. Jannik is in form. He played the final [in] Miami and has been playing well. I just hung in there today and managed to find the right shots and the right game at the right time.”Djokovic has won all 10 matches he has played this year. This marks the sixth time that the Serbian has won his opening 10 encounters in an ATP Tour season. Djokovic’s Best ATP Tour Season Starts Year Unbeaten Start Duration 2011 41-0 Australian Open-Roland Garros QF 2020 26-0 ATP Cup-US Open R32 2013 17-0 Australian Open-Indian Wells QF 2016 14-0 Doha-Dubai R16 2012 10-0 Australian Open-Dubai QF 2021 10-0 ATP Cup-Present Djokovic is chasing his third title at the Monte-Carlo Country Club this year. The 36-time ATP Masters 1000 titlist defeated Rafael Nadal en route to the title in 2013 and 2015.“[Jannik] has got a lot of talent and he has proven that he is the future of our sport. Actually, he is already the present of our sport [having] played a final [in an] ATP Masters 1000 [event] already. He is making big strides in professional tennis,” said Djokovic.Graphic courtesy Hawk-Eye Innovations/ATP MediaSinner used his aggressive baseline game to rush Djokovic in the early stages of the match and claim an early break, but his lead was short lived. The top seed soon found his range on his return and forced Sinner out of backhand-to-backhand rallies with a series of drop shots. Despite dropping serve once more at 5-3, Djokovic broke for the third time to take the 54-minute opener. The two-time champion found consistent success behind his serve in the second set and wore his opponent down in extended rallies. Djokovic earned two further service breaks and moved through to the third round when Sinner committed a double fault on match point. After his win against the Miami runner-up, Djokovic will face Murray River Open champion Daniel Evans in the third round. The British No. 1 broke Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz on four occasions to clinch a 6-4, 6-1 win on Court des Princes. Evans entered the tournament seeking his first tour-level win on clay since the 2017 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.Casper Ruud earned his second Top 10 victory on Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-3 victory against World No. 9 Diego Schwartzman. The Norwegian converted three of his four break points to overcome last year’s Rome runner-up in 65 minutes. The 22-year-old will meet Marbella champion Pablo Carreno Busta or Karen Khachanov in the third round. Ruud is tied at 1-1 in his ATP Head2Head series against Carreno Busta and won his only previous match against Khachanov at last year’s Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

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