British men’s No 1 Dan Evans bows out in US Open fourth round with a straight-sets loss against second seed Daniil Medvedev at Flushing Meadows
- Evans reached the fourth round for the first time after beating Alex Popyrin
- He lost the first set 6-3 and the second 6-4 before the Russian saw him off 6-3
- Medvedev matches on and is a threat to Novak Djokovic’s career Grand Slam
Dan Evans last night learned first hand why Daniil Medvedev is the man most likely to stop Novak Djokovic at this US Open.
The scruffy Russian, all arms and legs but a remarkable athlete, ushered the British number one to the exit door in what was his first appearance in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.
While an entertaining encounter, the result never looked in much doubt as Medvedev forced his way into the last eight with a 6-3 6-4 6-3 victory under the roof of the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
British No 1 Evans fought hard and departed with the biggest pay cheque of his whole career
It was always going to take a monumental effort for Evans to add this to one of the multiple five-setters that have peppered an outstanding first week of the tournament.
An outstanding service display, which did not materialise, would have been needed, but he did take more games from the Russian than anyone else to date.
Medvedev is predicted to make next Sunday’s final and he showed how his slightly dishevelled appearance is highly deceptive. If he does end up playing Djokovic in an Australian Open final repeat it is likely to be much closer than it was in Melbourne.
Evans opened up his box of tricks and came to the net as much as he could, but the Russian’s defences and athleticism were more than equal to everything he tried. Two things in particular were on show explain why he has risen to world No 2.
Medvedev (above) is one of the favourites to reach next Sunday’s final at Flushing Meadowns
He rattles through his service games with a powerful action that is hard to read, even for one with as quick an eye as Evans. The Russian’s backhand is not treat for the eyes but it is incredibly reliable and effective, even when going down the line.
Evans competed hard, as he has done since arriving, and briefly threatened to get back into it when he broke to restore parity at 3-3 in the second set.
Yet, as can be the case with Djokovic, you sometimes think the easiest way to beat Medvedev is to get him to spontaneously self-combust. It never quite got edgy enough to suggest that was going to happen.
The 31-year-old Midlander departs with the biggest pay cheque of his career, worth $265,000 (£193,000). He has also accumulated enough points to take him to a projected career-high ranking of 23 next week.
But Medvedev progressed, and is the biggest threat to Novak Djokovic’s career Grand Slam
Having been deeply frustrated with his third round exit at Wimbledon, and caught Covid shortly afterwards, he cannot be too displeased with his achievement of the past week.
Medvedev now goes on to meet one of the most unlikely US Open quarter finalists of recent times, the little-known Dutchman Botic Van De Zandschulp.
The world number 117, playing for the first time at Flushing Meadows, defeated Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-4 5-7 5-7 6-1. He is the first male qualifier to make it this far in thirteen years and only the third in history.
Djokovic resumes his quest for the title later today with a fourth round match against another surprise package, 20 year-old American wildcard Jenson Brooksby.