Daniel Evans has produced the biggest upset of Monte Carlo Masters, beating World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5. He has now booked a place in his first ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal. Evans, who had won only four clay-court matches prior to arriving in Monte Carlo, ended Djokovic’s unbeaten start to the 2021 Tour season. The British player will next play Belgian No. 11 seed David Goffin, who knocked out fifth-seeded Alexander Zverev 6-4, 7-6.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Evans said in his post-match interview. “I couldn’t quite believe the last ball went over the net. It nearly didn’t. I was pleased, regardless, with how I was playing coming into the match. I felt good. You can never be confident coming into such a big match like that against Novak.”
“It is clearly a big win and I am delighted that I got through, especially being a break down and [having had] little difficulties in the first set. It was really pleasing and I am delighted,” added the 30-year-old.
The first player to beat Novak Djokovic in 2021.
The biggest win of his career. pic.twitter.com/pHQu1wlC5v
— ATP Tour (@atptour) April 15, 2021
Daniel Evans got off to a great start, taking a 3-0 lead in the first set. The World No. 1, however, recovered and broke back to 4-4. Evans fought back to break for a third time to clinch the 57-minute opener.
The roles were reversed in the second set as Djokovic started in blistering fashion, taking a 3-0 advantage. Evans did not give up, he fought hard and come right back into the match.
Djokovic had a set point on Evans’ serve at 4-5, but the Serbian star missed the chance. He later handed the British player a 6-5 lead with a double fault. Evans made no mistake in seeing out the match after that gift.
The Serbian was all praise for Evans as he conceded that the Brit was the better player. “He deserved to win. He was a better player. Just more focused I guess and played with a better quality in the decisive moments. This has been probably one of the worst matches and performances from my side I can recall in the [recent] years,” he added.
“Yesterday, I played [a] pretty good match I thought. Today, was completely the opposite of what I felt yesterday,” Djokovic said. “[It] was obviously very, very windy, tough to play in these kind of conditions against a guy like Evans who makes you move. He’s very unpredictable with his shots. He dismantled my game.”