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Evans is raring to go again after emotional victory

Proud moment: a tearful Dan Evans salutes his triumph
Proud moment: a tearful Dan Evans salutes his triumph

By Eleanor Crooks

Dan Evans was overcome with emotion after beating 18th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in the best moment of his comeback so far.

The British No.3 matched his most successful run at Wimbledon by making the third round and is closing in on a return to the top 50 just over 12 months after coming back without a ranking following his year-long cocaine ban.

After sealing a 6-3 6-2 7-6 (2) victory on Court Two, Evans thrust his hands to the sky with tears in his eyes.

"I just want to do well at this tournament," he said. "It was a goal to be in the main draw here. I did that. Obviously I missed out the last few years. To be into the third round is great for me.

"A lot of my friends were here, people who have helped me so much. It just got the better of me today. There's plenty more tennis to be played in this tournament, so I won't be resting on that win.

"I believe I can do better now than before. I was just playing tennis. I probably didn't know the magnitude of winning matches in Grand Slams. It's a big deal to be winning matches in the best tournaments, especially here at Wimbledon, at your home Slam, with so much tradition. I want to go as far as I can here. For me it's the best Grand Slam, I can't wait to play again."

Evans will aim to do the same against Joao Sousa, who is ranked eight places lower at 69.

"That's my game plan," said Evans. "Those guys know that. They're going to try to put their game on me. That's the battle out there. Hopefully I can do that again on Saturday, serve a bit better. I think I can win."

Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie's 2019 Wimbledon experience in the singles may be over but it has left him with the taste for more.

Norrie went out in the second round after suffering a 6-4 6-4 6-0 defeat to eighth seed Kei Nishikori on Centre Court.

It was his first outing on the main show court and it was reward for his maiden main draw win at SW19 on Tuesday.

He was not in the game beyond the midway point of the first set as Nishikori ran him ragged with an almost unplayable return of serve, but the 23-year-old is feeling upbeat.

"To get my first win was so special for me," he said. "And to win doubles in five sets on Wednesday was great, too.

"To see I was on Centre Court, it kind of felt like everything was leading up to it.

"And then I woke up this morning, I really thought I could win.

"I think it was a great experience for me, and I think I have progressed a lot with my tennis and with my game.

"So I think I'm really excited for next year and I think grass could be my favourite surface next year."

Belfast Telegraph


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