Dan Evans says reading Ricky Ponting’s autobiography served as motivation on his trip to the United States after making the fourth round of the US Open for the first time; Evans, who will next face Daniil Medvedev, said: “I took things that I will probably use now for the rest of my career.”
Last update: 04/09/2019 7:37 PM
Britain’s number one Dan Evans has said he has as much of a chance as anyone to do serious damage when he meets the scorching Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round of the US Open on Sunday.
Evans One recovered from two sets to beat Australian Alexei Popyrin in a decisive tie-break and will play the fourth round of a Grand Slam for only the second time in his career against the dangerous second-seeded Russian.
The 31-year-old had already reached the third round at Flushing Meadows three times, holding a match point against eventual champion Stan Wawrinka in 2016, but had never gone further.
It has been a difficult few months for Evans after a debilitating episode of coronavirus forced him to miss the Olympics and left him in physical difficulty.
He arrived in New York City with low confidence and injury issues after retiring from the double on Thursday with a groin problem. But after battling Thiago Monteiro, Marcos Giron and Popyrin, he has shown why he is considered one of the most aggressive contenders on the circuit and is launching into Sunday’s clash with eyeing for upset.
“I started reading Ricky Ponting’s book at the start of this trip. I wasn’t feeling well. It was pretty inspiring, motivating.”
Dan Evans reading Ricky Ponting’s autobiography
“I’m as likely as anyone to do damage,” Evans said. “I think my game is in a good position. He’s a great, great player, an incredible competitor, a good player. He has played incredible tennis this year.
“But if I go out into the field and think that I have no chance and that there is no pressure on me – I think in pressure situations, if they arise, you are not ready. for that. You have to come in believing you can win. “
Evans is set to reach a new career top 25 ranking due to his run in New York, but Medvedev represents a big step forward from the opponents the Briton has faced so far.
The Russian reached his first Grand Slam final at Flushing Meadows in 2019, pushing Rafael Nadal to five sets, and won his fourth Masters tournament in Toronto last month.
“I think his serve is an amazing and amazing weapon,” said Evans. “His serve and his movement, two of the best things. I think his serve is underestimated. He makes his serve plays very quickly. He obviously puts a lot of balls on the field on the opponent’s serve. These three things are probably his best.
“I don’t want to keep saying how good he is. I think his ranking shows that.”
Evans also revealed that reading Ricky Ponting’s book helped him on a journey of self-discovery.
The world number 27 showed all the fighting spirit for which the former Australian cricket captain was famous when he came back from two sets to beat compatriot Ponting Popyrin.
He said: “There’s probably a bit of irony in there. I started reading Ricky Ponting’s book at the start of this trip. I didn’t feel right. It was pretty inspiring, motivating.
“I took a few things out of it. He had a pretty tough time when he was captain. That’s why I accepted the book, because I had been told about it.
“I looked to learn a bit throughout the trip. I probably need to know a bit more about myself. I’m never that far away from reaching a decent level. But I have to be patient. was not the case … easy by any stretch of the imagination.
“I had little confidence in myself. I think from his book, support yourself. He wrote a lot the day before about what he wanted to do, how he wanted to get out the next day. He really remembered that. that he had to do.
“It’s obviously a very different game, but I just enjoyed it. I took some things that I’m probably going to use now for the rest of my career.”
Medvedev, who has gone through his first three matches, returned the compliments to Evans, describing him as a delicate and intelligent player.
“He doesn’t have a single shot that is a weapon, and yet he has been a top player for many years now,” he said.
“The way he chooses the right time to go to the net, slice, drop shot. His serve isn’t huge, but it’s hard to come back. Great player. I heard in the locker room today. people say, “I love to watch him play. Most of us probably enjoy watching him play.
“I saw he was two sets (against Popyrin). I watched the fifth set a bit – what a tie-break from him. It’s the first time I’ve played against him, so never easy . I want to show my best. This is how I will have my chances of winning. “
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