Dan Evans BEATEN in Wimbledon third round after losing in four sets to American world No 50 Sebastian Korda on Centre Court, as British No 1 collapses in 15-minute spell during third setDan Evans suffered a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 loss to Sebastian Korda on Centre CourtThe 20-year-old stunned the British number one to move into the second weekEvans levelled match at one set all but collapsed in 15 horror minutes in set threeThe British No 1 has still never made it into the second week of Wimbledon
For all his progress in life and tennis, there still appears to be a wall between Dan Evans and the later stages of the tournaments that matter. In this case its name was Sebastian Korda, and it’s one that will grow ever more familiar.
They’ve waited a while in the US for a legitimate male contender, right back to Andy Roddick and his missiles, but out of a gifted family has emerged a quite exceptional talent.
Not good enough to go the distance just yet, you’d assume, but this 20-year-old will be rounding that bend before long. He’s surely too diverse in his skills, too composed of thought, too athletic, too loaded with the right genetics to not make that step.
Dan Evans lost in round three of Wimbledon again – this time a four-set loss to Sebastian Korda
World number 50 Korda came out on top against Evans despite being ranked 28 places lower
Just look at this match. Korda fought Evans at range, with the long exchanges in which the Brit excels, and he came in for the toe-to-toe stuff as well. Happy to rally; capable of ending them at will with big hits from the back and the net.
And that really was the difference between he and Evans during their engagement on Centre Court. There is no denying the British No 1 had chances, particularly when he led by a break in the fourth, but ultimately he had to face a recurring reality: for all his guile and spins, he is a fella of 5ft 8ins who doesn’t have a major weapon. His defence is brilliant, yes. But at certain stages in big tournaments, what you do on the front foot tends to matter more.
At this stage, consider some statistics – Korda hit 50 winners to Evans’s 21. He hit more unforced errors, too, by 43 to 18, but in a nutshell the tale of this missed opportunity was that Evans gave almost nothing away, and yet stole too little.
Now consider another number: he has reached the fourth round of a Slam only once, back in Australia 2017, before his cocaine ban and before a rise that warrants considerable admiration. It’s a resurrection that has seen Evans win at tour level and beat Novak Djokovic this year, but he is increasingly overdue a breakthrough at a Slam.
The pre-game favourite Evans levelled the match at one set all but fell apart in a 15-minute spell
He looked and sounded rather beaten up by this one, which was his sixth third-round exit at one of the big four. ‘It’s more disappointment than anything really right now,’ he said. ‘It was a good chance to have a decent run. I think I didn’t turn up really.
‘It’s a tough one to take. I didn’t really play my game. That’s not the best version of myself.
‘I didn’t feel any more pressure because I was playing on Centre. He was a bit more aggressive than me and that was the difference.
‘All credit to him, he played some strong tennis. He’s obviously going to be a very good player.’
That much is beyond doubt. His father, as most will know by now, is the former Australian Open champion Petr, his mother was a top-30 player, and his two sisters are professional golfers, one of whom, Nelly, just took over as world No 1. Handy bunch.
American Korda, 20 years of age, ran out a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 winner on his Centre Court debut
Ranked 50 in the world, this is only his third Slam, and his first at Wimbledon, and already he has reached a fourth round for the second time. Against the 22nd seed, he was mostly excellent.
He failed to take a point off the Evans serve until he was 4-3 in front in the first, but then leapt into a more aggressive mode and broke for 5-3. The American closed out the set in the next game with a smash – at 6ft 4ins he made a successful habit of trips to the net throughout.
Evans broke for 4-2 on his way to taking the second, which briefly hinted at a match turning in the 31-year-old’s direction. But Korda’s temperament is about as reliable as the rest of his game – he broke to love for 4-2 in the third, and again for 5-3 after Evans had broken back in between. He saw off the set with an ace.
The fourth is the one that will string for Evans. Having led 4-2, he sprinted straight into that same old wall by dropping serve twice in succession.
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