US Open: Dan Evans takes revenge for Tomic 'not good enough' slur
The triumph was fueled at resentment of Bernard Tomic's controversial father John, who refused to allow his son to hit with Dan Evans in Miami last year, insisting the Briton was not a worthy opponent.
Dan Evans's magical US Open journey hit new heights Thursday when he beat Bernard Tomic, the Australian firebrand who once refused to practice with him claiming the British player wasn't good enough.
The 23-year-old world 179, who had never won a Grand Slam match before this week, took revenge for that slur by seeing off the 52nd-ranked Tomic 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 to make the third round.
It was a win which followed his shock straight-sets win over Japanese 11th seed Kei Nishikori in the first round, having also played three tough qualifying matches.
The triumph was fueled at resentment of Tomic's controversial father John, who refused to allow his son to hit with Evans in Miami last year, insisting the Briton was not a worthy opponent.
"His dad sort of fobbed me off and said I wasn't good enough to practice with him," said Evans.
"We went to practice. It was all booked. Got to the court. In Miami, there's a little practice hut. I got to the practice hut. No, no, he's a qualifier, I'm not hitting with you. A bit embarrassing, but hey.
"I don't think it was Bernard's doing. He wasn't there."
Evans's previous record at the majors was woeful -- two first round losses at Wimbledon in 2009 and 2011.
But he went into Thursday's clash buoyed by having practiced with Roger Federer 24 hours earlier.
"I thought he played really nice; got a great shot," said Federer.
"Still a little bit surprised he beat Tomic, because we know what Bernard can do. But great effort for him. To be in a third round of a slam is a huge opportunity. It should give him a ton of confidence. And it's great for Britain, no doubt about it."
Evans said he was overjoyed to be given the opportunity to practice with Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam title winner and a five-time US Open champion.
"It was amazing actually to hit with someone so good. I really enjoyed it. Actually had a really good hit. It was a very good experience to hit with someone like that. A nice guy. Was interested in what I did. It was good."
What wasn't good for Evans on Court 17 on Thursday was having to call the trainer after developing an embarrassing case of nipple rash.
"I don't know what it was. It was just agony. Oh, the stick I'm going to get back home is, like, devastating," smiled the Briton.
But Evans's career hasn't always been played out in front of packed arenas.
This time last year, he was at a third-tier Futures event in Wrexham in Wales where he earned $300 for making the semi-finals.
For making the third round in New York, he is already guaranteed $93,000, a figure that will be boosted to $165,000 if he gets past Tommy Robredo of Spain.
A run to the last 16 could mean a clash with Federer.
"If I said to any of you guys that I play Federer in the fourth round, you would have laughed at me, so I'm not going to say that."
It's all a far cry from 2009, when he was banned by Britain's Lawn Tennis Association for going night-clubbing during Wimbledon.
Tomic, a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist who has endured his fair share of fallouts with Australian sporting authorities and was accused of 'tanking' at last year's US Open, said Evans's ranking of 179 was irrelevant.
"It shows you anybody can play in the top 250. It's just a matter of consistency. The guys in the top 100 and top 50 are more consistent," said the 20-year-old.
"He's playing well for the first time This is his best result He played very well against Kei. I knew if he beat Kei it was going to be difficult."