Dan Evans ends Grand Slam losing streak with impressive win over Feliciano Lopez at Wimbledon
Dan Evans snapped a four-match Grand Slam losing streak to reach the second round of Wimbledon with victory over Feliciano Lopez.
The British No 1 has had an excellent 18 months on the ATP Tour but the Slams have been a different matter, with Evans losing twice in the first round of the French Open and once at the Australian Open since his previous victory in New York last summer.
He made the third round at Wimbledon two years ago and put himself in a strong position to at least match that with a commanding 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 7-5 success against Lopez.
Lopez may be about to turn 40 but few know their way around a grass court better and he was the champion at Queen’s Club two years ago.
This was a throwback match between two of the best current exponents of grass-court tennis, full of slice backhands and angled volleys.
There was almost nothing to choose between the pair in the first set, with both saving one break point apiece, but it was Evans who stepped up in the tie-break, drilling two topspin backhands to move 4-1 ahead and then winning the final three points after Lopez fought back.
The pressure from Evans told on Lopez, who has played in every grand slam tournament since the French Open in 2002, in the second set, the Spaniard making a succession of unforced errors.
Evans won five games in a row to take it but the third was much closer again and Evans had to dig deep to save two break points at 3-3.
Lopez, who appeared to be struggling with a thigh problem, tried to force a second tie-break but Evans set up a first match point in the 12th game and took it when his opponent pushed a volley long, the British player leaping and punching the air with delight.
Kei Nishikori identifies key features behind brilliant win over Andrey Rublev at Olympics
Kei Nishikori off the mark at his home Olympics.
‘I feel definitely a little bit refreshed and happy again,’ says Naomi Osaka after opening win at Olympics
Smooth start for four-time major winner Naomi Osaka.
‘A disappointing day’ for ‘erratic’ Ashleigh Barty as she crashes out of singles at Tokyo Olympics
Ashleigh Barty makes an early exit from Tokyo Olympics.
He’s done it! ‘I couldn’t be more proud of myself,’ says Cameron Norrie after winning maiden ATP Tour title
It’s a maiden ATP Tour singles title for Cameron Norrie.
‘I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the singles,’ says Andy Murray after Olympics blow
Andy Murray will concentrate on doubles with Joe Salisbury.
Eyes of the world to remain on Naomi Osaka after her return to the spotlight
Naomi Osaka must turn her focus back to the court.
Novak Djokovic urges Tokyo 2020 officials to change schedule after opening win
Novak Djokovic called for organisers to rethink the Olympic tennis schedule.
Naomi Osaka posts social media message after lighting the Olympic flame
Osaka lit the Olympic flame as the Tokyo Games were opened with an understated ceremony held behind closed doors.
Big win for Andy Murray as he starts his Olympics campaign alongside Joe Salisbury
Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury marked themselves out as medal contenders with a brilliant first-round performance
Former Olympian suggests Naomi Osaka has made her life more difficult after media boycott
Osaka is set to return to action for the first time since she pulled out of the French Open at the Olympics