Dan Evans will look to reach the fourth round of the US Open for the first time in his career on Friday, when he faces five-time champion Roger Federer in New York.
Evans’ four-set victory over 25th seed Lucas Pouille set up the encounter, after the Briton claimed a convincing 6-4 6-3 6-7 6-4 victory.
It’ll be the third time the two have met, the last coming in the Australian Open where Federer was pushed to two tie-breaks in the second round. After earning the praise from Federer following that match, the Swiss ended up inviting Evans to train with him ahead of the French Open, showcasing the mutual respect the two have for each other.
Federer, who is looking to win a record sixth title at Flushing Meadows, comes into the match having lost the opening set against Sumit Nagal and Damir Dzumhur.
If Evans is to take his first ever set off the Swiss, he will have to make a fast start.In both of his matches during the tournament, Evans has shown an attacking intent, often coming to the net to finish points off quickly. And while his net play needs some improvement, it is encouraging to see such aggressive tennis from the Brit.
However, his net play will have to be perfect if he is to have sustained success against Federer and avoid being on the end of one of the Swiss’s famous passing shots.
It’ll also become clear how costly Evan’s third set slump against Pouille will be. Seemingly cruising at 4-1, Evans let the Frenchman back into the game and lost the tie-break despite holding a 3-0 lead.
And with Federer having had the day off after finishing his second round match yesterday, there will be no margin for error or nerves.
With nothing to lose, Evans can play with complete freedom on Friday which can only suit his game. And let’s hope he can play like we all know he can because if he does, we may be seeing the Brit clinching all of Saturday’s headlines.