I no longer believe Federer is unbeatable, says Evans
Dan Evans will face Roger Federer at the US Open no longer believing the Swiss master is invincible.
Evans booked himself a third-round meeting with the 20-time grand slam winner after beating 25th seed Lucas Pouille.
The British number two has played Federer twice before, at Wimbledon in 2016 and at the Australian Open in January, with both matches ending in straight-set defeats.
Evans gave a good account of himself in Melbourne, though, and has since trained with Federer on clay in the Swiss Alps.
“I was grateful to get the opportunity to practise with him, it led me into the clay and grass court seasons in good shape,” said Evans.
“I’d rather not be playing him. But it’s another good chance to play Roger and test myself again.
“I have to go in thinking I can beat him. There’s no point going on court if I don’t think I can beat him. It’s another match. I have to prepare.
“Since the first time I played him at Wimbledon I’m in a different place and he’s probably in a different place.
“I’ve got over, ‘It’s Roger, it’s impossible to beat him’. I definitely have a bit more belief going on the court.”
Evans, from Birmingham, was an impressive 6-4 6-3 6-7 (4) 6-4 winner, taking advantage of a lacklustre display from Pouille to race into a two-set lead with a break in the third.
Frenchman Pouille belatedly found his range and broke Evans twice with the finish line in sight.
Evans hit back to level the set, then blew a 3-0 lead in the tie-break, but tidily finished the job in the fourth.
“It was plain sailing for two sets but you can’t beat someone like that without some tough moments,” added the 29-year-old.
“Luckily I caught him pretty cold in the first game of the fourth and played pretty well from then on.”
Meanwhile, Johanna Konta also swept into the third round in commanding fashion.
The British number one reeled off 12 games in a row as she thrashed Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan 6-1 6-0 in just 54 minutes.
“I’m pleased with how I was able to just play the level that I did,” said Konta.
“I think I adapted to her quite well quite early on, and I thought our games matched up well for me. Yeah, I’m just pleased with how I played.”
Konta will face Zhang Shuai of China on Friday.