Good Evans! Dan's the man to beat top seed Djokovic at Monte Carlo Masters

·2-min read

World number one Novak Djokovic on Thursday hailed his conquerer Dan Evans after he beat him in straight sets at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Djokovic, who suffered his first loss of the season, said the 33rd ranked Briton dismantled his game and deserved his 6-4, 7-5 victory in the last-16.

“He was a better player, just more focused and I guess played with a better quality in the decisive moments,” added the Serb.

“To be honest 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."

Battle

Evans, who had only won four matches on clay courts before the tie, raced into a 3-0 in the first set before Djokovic made it 3-2.

The 30-year-old Briton broke to lead 4-2 but Djokovic recovered to 4-4. However, another careless service game from the 33-year-old Serb allowed Evans to serve for the set at 5-4. He did not falter.

Djokovic appeared to have rediscovered his mojo at the start of the second set as he surged into a 3-0 lead. But Evans refused to be cowed and fought back to 3-3.

Bravery

After saving a set point on his own serve while trying to level at 5-5, Evans then profited from a Djokovic double fault to give him a 6-5 lead and the chance to move into the last eight for the first time.

"The biggest thing is, you have got to believe you can win,” said Evans after his first meeting with Djokovic.

“Of course, I doubted myself in the match. Serving it out is not easy. You have got all sorts of things running through your head.

"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 number one. It is a nice one.”

Evans will play the 15th seed David Goffin after he upset the fifth seed Alexander Zverev 6-4, 7-6.

Rafael who?

Rafael Nadal, the 11-time champion, moved into the last eight with a 6-1, 6-1 demolition of Grigor Dimitrov. It was his 14th win over the Bulgarian in 15 meetings.

Nadal’s fellow Spaniards Pablo Carreno Busta and Robert Bautista Agut faired less well. They both went out in three sets to Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev respectively.