Britain’s Dan Evans kept his cool in uncharted territory on Thursday, downing 30th-seeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6(6) 6-4 6-1 to sweep into the third round at Wimbledon and equal his best ever grand slam performance.
The prize for Evans, who before this year had never won a match in the main draw at the All England Club, is a clash with Roger Federer.
That sets up a second date in a row with a home-grown outsider for the seven-times winner, who on Centre Court on Wednesday wrote the final chapter in the Wimbledon fairytale of 772th-ranked Marcus Willis.
Evans, ranked 91st after breaking into the top 100 for the first time in May, represents a tougher proposition for the Swiss on paper, and the Briton played Thursday’s key points better than his 33rd-ranked opponent, a former Australian Open quarter-finalist.
After a closely-fought opening, a Dolgopolov double-fault handed the first set to Evans 8-6 in a tiebreak.
Evans, who reached the U.S. Open third round as a qualifier in 2013, was again the more clinical in the second set, staying aggressive and taking it on his first set point with a deft stop volley that left the Ukrainian floundering.
Dolgopolov faded badly in the third set, dropping serve three times and netting weakly on match point as Evans won the last four points to wrap things up in just under two hours.
Asked about his next opponent, Evans said in a courtside interview: “It’s going to be …an amazing experience…I have to put to the back of my mind that he is one of the best players ever to play the game.”