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US Open: Dan Evans heartbroken after wasting match point to sink Stan Wawrinka

By Tom Allnutt

Published 05/09/2016

Bitter pill: Dan Evans gutted after coming within touching distance
Bitter pill: Dan Evans gutted after coming within touching distance

Britain's Dan Evans said losing to Stan Wawrinka was a "heartbreaker" after he came within one point of a shock victory in the US Open third round on Sunday morning.

Evans twice led by a set and had match point in the fourth against the world number three, but he failed to convert as Wawrinka came back to win 4-6 6-3 6-7 (6/8) 7-6 (10/8) 6-2.

The British number two left Louis Armstrong Stadium to a standing ovation, but it was Wawrinka who advanced to the last 16.

"It's a bit of a heartbreaker really," Evans said. "I don't really know what to say. It was a tough one to take.

"It'll probably hurt a bit for a while. It's disappointing, how it played out."

Evans, ranked 64th in the world, took control after winning a thrilling third-set tie-break and his biggest chance came in the fourth when, in another tie-break, he led 6-5 for match point.

Wawrinka escaped with a cool volley and then Evans handed away the initiative at 7-7 when he failed to finish off a smash.

Three points later, the Swiss served out the set before storming clear in the fifth to seal a momentous triumph.

"I've never been in that situation before, especially against someone as good as him. It's just not easy, is it?" Evans said.

"Being that close, I was thinking about winning the match. Whoever says you don't think about winning the match at that point is full of it.

"I'm thinking about that smash, 'put it away'. I hit it down the middle. The small things in those matches make big differences.

"Why I hit it down the middle - I never hit the smash ever down the middle - is beyond me."

The missed opportunity appeared to stay with Evans, who was broken twice in the decider as Wawrinka raced into an unassailable 4-0 lead.

"I was physically pretty tired," Evans said.

"Subconsciously, mentally as well, I was hurt a bit in the fifth set. He's obviously a class opponent. I sort of knew that was the chance in the fourth set."

Meanwhile, Andy Murray will have to play better if wants to win the US Open but he did enough to make the last 16 with a four-set victory over Italy's Paolo Lorenzi.

Murray might have hoped for a less demanding workout, with sterner tests certainly yet to come, but the Scot had to battle in Arthur Ashe Stadium to beat an inspired Lorenzi 7-6 (7/4) 5-7 6-2 6-3.

He will now face Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov at Flushing Meadows for a place in the quarter-finals.

Murray produced 63 unforced errors - more than treble his totals in both the opening rounds - but found his groove when it mattered to reach his 23rd consecutive major fourth round.

"I stopped rushing in the rallies. I was making a lot unforced errors," Murray said on court afterwards.

"He's a solid player, doesn't give you many cheap points and I was trying to get cheap points.

"I slowed things down, my unforced errors went down, my winners went up, and the scoreboard then worked in my favour as well."

Belfast Telegraph

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