Australian Open: Dan Evans beaten in straight sets by Felix Auger-Aliassime as British singles hopes end in third round | Tennis News

Dan Evans had reached the last 32 in Melbourne for the first time since 2017 after earning free passage with a surprise victory over Arthur Rinderknech in the second round, but the 31-year-old faltered on Saturday, losing 6-4 6-1 6-1 for Felix Auger-Aliassime

Last update: 22/01/22 10:16

Dan Evans’ Australian Open campaign is over after his third-round loss

Britain’s last singles hope, Dan Evans, was beaten in straight sets by ninth-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in the third round of the Australian Open.

Evans had reached the last 32 for the first time since 2017 after earning the free pass with a surprise victory over Arthur Rinderknech in the second round, but faltered on Saturday, losing 6-4 6-1 6-1.

The 31-year-old had won his only previous encounter at the Murray River Open at the same venue 12 months ago to win his only ATP Tour title, but a repeat never looked at the cards from the time where he slammed a forehand volley. in the net to lose the opening set.

Auger-Aliassime, 21, had spent eight hours on the pitch in his first two matches, but Evans couldn’t capitalize on the weariness and make it an extended stay at John Cain Arena. The Canadian will face either Andrey Rublev or Marin Cilic in the fourth round.

Felix Auger-Aliassime won 91% of the points on his first serve during the game

Felix Auger-Aliassime won 91% of the points on his first serve during the game

“It’s hard to feel better,” Auger-Aliassime said with a smile after his win over Evans.

“It’s one of the best Grand Slam performances I’ve had. In the first set we were both serving well and I was lucky to get that break point to close it out, after that , for some reason everything was working for me today.

“I’m really happy because the first two games were really difficult for me, so I’m happy to have finished in straight sets.”

Auger-Aliassime passes through

Unlike Auger-Aliassime’s previous lengthy matches, Britain’s number 2 Evans did not have to take to the field to advance to the third round, with Rinderknech retiring injured ahead of Thursday’s clash.

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At the end of the day, he was flying the British flag alone after defeats by Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray, who was part of a large British contingent supporting Evans.

There were surreal scenes at the start as the sounds of a singer intoning Beatles and Elton John hits at a nearby gig drifted across the arena. Evans found it significantly less amusing than the crowd but had no choice but to keep playing.

Dan Evans vs Felix Auger-Aliassime – Match stats

Dan Evans Felix Auger-Aliassime
1 ace 16
3 Double faults 3
57% First served in 65%
58% First service points earned 91%
44% Second serve points won 57%
ten Winners 40
20 Direct errors 21
9/15 Net points earned 6/9
53 Total points earned 88

It was Evans who got the early chances with break points in Games 5 and 9, but Auger-Aliassime was rock solid when it mattered, and that would be a recurring theme.

The 21-year-old Canadian has carried the burden of expectations since setting a string of age-related records on the second-tier Challenger Tour.

Initially he struggled to make his mark at Grand Slam level but, since starting to work with Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former coach Toni last spring, Auger-Aliassime has taken several steps in before.

He reached the semi-finals of the US Open and started this season in impressive fashion by guiding Canada to the ATP Cup title.

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The frustration for Evans, who also started the season well, will be that much of the damage was self-inflicted, including the two missed volleys late in the first set and then a double fault on break point to start the second. . .

Auger-Aliassime extended his streak to seven games to lead 5-0 before Evans finally stopped the rot.

The Canadian had been a little loose in the first set, especially on the return, but he improved as the game progressed, overpowering the much smaller Evans from the baseline.

The pressure came on as Evans again lost serve in the third game of the third set and Auger-Aliassime – who hit 40 game-winning points to just 10 for his opponent – quickly secured a comprehensive victory.

Evans: I freaked out on the pitch

Evans spoke candidly about the reasons for his loss after the encounter

Evans spoke candidly about the reasons for his loss after the encounter

Evans is never shy about sharing his thoughts after a loss or a win, and he spoke candidly after that loss to Auger-Aliassime.

“I panicked on the court. I missed my chance and I panicked a bit, and that happens in tennis,” he said.

He also discussed the impact his injured second-round opponent had on this encounter with the ninth seed.

“I’m not looking for excuses, but it wasn’t easy to go for a walk and I lost my momentum a bit. I had never had that before, two days off, and it was difficult” , added Evans.

“I thought a lot about the game and I probably thought too much about it. He was obviously much better than me too. But I think I didn’t really play my game or I didn’t manage to play on field.

“I thought I had a decent chance of winning this game and I probably thought about him a bit too much rather than caring about myself, my own game.”

Auger-Aliassime will continue and face Andrey Rublev or Marin Cilic in the fourth round

Auger-Aliassime will continue and face Andrey Rublev or Marin Cilic in the fourth round

During the match, Evans was supported by several British players who weren’t on the pitch and he expects a bit of friendly banter after his defeat.

“It’s a nice gesture that they got out. They’re probably sorry they wasted two hours of their time now, and they’ll probably let me know!”

Now he will travel to Dubai for a training block ahead of two tournaments in the Middle East next month. Despite this defeat, the 31-year-old remains satisfied with his start to the season.

“It’s been a long year. It’s not like I have to worry about what happened. I started the year well, I had some good wins, I had a real momentum before the game and a game is a game.

“I have to forget about it. It would be another mistake if I continued to worry about this game.”

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