Florida: Briton Dan Evans spoke of his resilience after reaching his second career final with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 upset of second seed John Isner at the Delray Beach Open in Florida on Saturday.
Less than a year after returning from a 12-month cocaine suspension, Evans staged a remarkable turnaround to set up a final against Moldovan Radu Albot after a slow start to the afternoon semi-final.
Isner took command early, breaking Evans in the second game and winning the first set without facing a break point as his booming serve held him in good stead in blustery winds on the outdoor hardcourt.
Evans fought back, however, breaking Isner twice in quick succession to capture the second set before breaking again in the second game of the final set, aided by an Isner foot fault.
The Briton displayed few nerves as he held serve throughout the final set, closing out in style with four first-serve winners to clinch the final game to love.
“I got, not lucky, but I started to see his serve pretty well,” Evans told reporters.
“I wouldn’t say guessing, but anticipating and got ‘em right. Other days I could be looking stupid going [the wrong way].
“I returned really well when I got my racket on the ball, and that was my goal just to get the ball back.” Evans previously appeared in a final at the 2017 Sydney International, where he was beaten by Gilles Muller.
Defending champion Juan Martin del Potro has withdrawn from the Mexican Open because of discomfort in his troubled right knee, just days after being granted a wild card for the ATP 500 event.
The 30-year-old Argentine announced his decision to miss the tournament after his defeat to American MacKenzie McDonald in the quarter-finals of the Delray Beach Open in Florida. “I won’t be going to Acapulco,” the world No. 4 said.