Evans Stuns Djokovic In Monte-Carlo

Daniel Evans (photo: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour)

MONTE-CARLO/STARNBERG, April 15, 2021 (Press Release)

The strong wind blew off Novak Djokovic’s hopes of a third title at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters this year as Briton Daniel Evans recorded the biggest win of his career, beating the World No. 1 on Thursday at the Monte-Carlo Country Club.

Evans, who had won only four clay-court matches prior to arriving in Monte-Carlo, booked a place in his first ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal with a stunning 6-4, 7-5 win over Djokovic, who was unbeaten this year. The World No. 33 used his slice to great effect and held his nerve to secure this big win after two hours and six minutes.

“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.

“The biggest thing is, you have got to believe you can win. I am just happy with how it went and it will be one to savour for maybe after the tournament, to tell the kids and grandkids that you beat the World No. 1. It is a nice one”, added Evans.

Djokovic insisted on having had a very bad day at the office.

“Well, congratulations to him. I mean, he deserved to win. He was a better player. Just more focused I guess and played with a better quality in the decisive moments”, said the Serbian.

“To be honest, I mean, this has been probably one of the worst matches and performances from my side I can recall in the last years. I don’t want to take anything away from his win, but from my side, I just felt awful on the court overall. Just nothing worked. It’s one of those days.”

Nadal eases past Dimitrov

In other action, Rafael Nadal continued to make himself right at home in the Principality of Monaco. The 11-time champion was in imperious form against Grigor Dimitrov, as he dropped just two games on his way to the quarterfinals. Nadal needed just 55 minutes to score a 6-1, 6-1 victory over the Bulgarian. The Spaniard didn’t face a break point in either set and fired 17 winners to close out the victory.

“I feel a little bit sorry for him today, that he played I think a bad match. I did my things. I think I had good days of practice before the tournament to start. On the paper, Dimitrov today is going to be a big test. Then situation was different,” said Nadal. 

Back into the last eight at the Monte-Carlo Country Club for the 16th consecutive time, Nadal will next take on sixth seeded Russian Andrey Rublev, who fought past ninth seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-3.

“Tomorrow I going to have Bautista or Rublev. Good opponents in front. I need to be playing at my highest level. I hope to be ready to play well and give myself chances to keep going,” said Nadal.

Earlier in the day, Belgian David Goffin upset World No. 6 Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-4, 7-6(7) to advance to his third quarterfinal at the French Riviera. 

World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece achieved his best result at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters when he overcame Santiago champion Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-4 to reach the stage of the final eight for the first time.