Dan Evans became the last British player to bow out of the Australian Open on Saturday after suffering a straight sets defeat to up-and-coming Canadian talent Félix Auger-Aliassime.
Following earlier exits from Andy Murray and US Open champion Emma Raducanu, Evans found himself as the last Briton standing in this year’s competition, but was unable to cope with a ruthlessly efficient display from his 21-year-old opponent.
After dropping the first set 6-4, the Birmingham native barely laid a glove on Auger-Aliassime, who took the next two sets 6-1, 6-1.
The ninth-seed will now progress to the fourth round, after having converted six out his seven break points and recording 16 aces to Evans’ one.
How did Dan Evans reach the third round?
Evans was bidding to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open for only the second time in his career, having previously reached that stage in 2017.
After a routine first round win over David Goffin, the 31-year-old’s second round opponent, Arthur Rinderknech, withdrew on the morning of their scheduled clash, handing him a bye.
Ultimately, however, that stroke of good fortune may have proven detrimental for Evans, who looked rusty compared to his younger opponent, and never truly managed to find his rhythm.
What did Dan Evans say after his third round exit?
Despite an assured display from Auger-Aliassime, Evans made it clear that he felt he had largely been to blame for his lacklustre display.
Speaking after the match, he said: “I panicked on the court.
“It was total. I missed my chance and I panicked a bit and that happens in tennis. I’m not going to sit here and say he was too good. I panicked and I felt that.”
He added: “I’m not making excuses but it wasn’t easy to have a walkover and I sort of lost my momentum a little bit and I never had that before, two days off.
“It was difficult. I thought about the match quite a lot and probably overthought it. And to be honest, he was way better than me as well. But I think I didn’t get my game on court.”
But despite his disappointment, Evans also chose to focus on the positives ahead of a lengthy season of action.
He said: “I started the year well, I’ve had some good wins, had real momentum going into the match and one match is one match. I’ve got to forget about it.
“It would be another mistake if I keep worrying about that match what’s just happened, so it’s just time to park it and move on.”
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