Dan Evans stuns John Isner in Delray Beach to earn shot at first ATP title

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Dan Evans stuns John Isner in Delray Beach to earn shot at first ATP title



Dan Evans’ fine run continued (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)Dan Evans booked his spot in just a second career ATP final with a fine victory over world No. 9 John Isner on Saturday as his remarkable start to 2019 continued.
The Birmingham-born star fought back from a set down against the big-serving American to clinch a famous 3-6 6-2 6-3 victory and earn a shot at clinching a first tour-level title.
In doing so, Evans has now positioned himself just outside of the world’s top-100. Less than a year ago, having returned from a year-long cocaine ban, he didn’t have a ranking.
After months of rebuilding his ranking at Challenger level and below, Evans has shot himself back towards the big time in 2019.

Isner was beaten (Picture: Getty Images)Having stormed through Australian Open qualifying, he pushed 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer hard in the main draw before reaching the final in the Quimper challenger.
Again, Evans came through qualifying in Delray Beach and he stopped defending champion Frances Tiafoe in the opening round.
An impressive win against sixth seed Andreas Seppi booked his spot in the final four and after defeating Isner he will face either Mackenzie McDonald or Radu Albot in the final.
The result should secure his spot in the main draw of the Slams for the foreseeable future whether he wins or loses in Sunday’s final.
The British No. 3 got off to the worst possible start as he was broken in his opening service game and he barely landed a glove on the Isner serve as he fell a set down.

Evans came through (Picture: TPN/Getty Images)Finding his rhythm on return in the second, Evans broke the second seed twice to level the match.
A third consecutive break came for the plucky Brit at the beginning of the decider, with Isner struggling to find his first serve.
Evans soon won his seventh game on the spin to move 3-0 up but Isner did finally hold to stop the rot.
Nothing would stop world No. 148 Evans, though, and he held his nerve to serve out the third top-10 win of his career.

Gimelstob has been present at Isner matches before (Picture: Getty Images)An interesting sideshow was the presence of Justin Gimelstob.
The American, a board member of the ATP, is facing charges of assault and has largely remained out of the public eye as his case is dealt with.
But he was courtside to watch Isner – a close friend who he also cheered on at Wimbledon last year.
Earlier on Saturday, Belinda Bencic defeated Petra Kvitova to impressively win the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Bencic beat Kvitova (Picture: Getty Images)Bencic defeated the Czech second seed 6-3 1-6 6-2 and will rise inside the world’s top-25 when Monday’s rankings are released.
The 21-year-old is a former world No. 7 and she played at that level throughout the week, seeing of a string of high-ranked players.
Four top-10 stars were left by the wayside with Aryna Sabalenka, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina and finally Kvitova all defeated in three-set matches.
‘It’s unbelievable. It’s incredible,’ the Swiss said. ‘I still can’t believe it.
‘The expectations after two rounds were not there any more, so many times I was close from defeat so it’s unbelievable I ended up winning this.’
In Rio, 23-year-old Serb Laslo Djere will contest the final after Aljaz Bedene withdrew due to a leg injury.

Djere is into the final in Rio (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)The world No. 90 has provisionally climbed into the top-50 following the Slovenian’s withdrawal. His previous career-high ranking was world No. 83.
Bedene said: ‘I was looking forward to the match today against Laslo and after having a few good weeks during this swing and enjoying playing in Rio, I feel sad that I have to withdraw from the semifinal today.
‘I had started feeling a pain in my right leg and during one sprint it got worse yesterday. I want to say sorry to all of my fans and thank you for supporting me this week. I hope to be back in the future to play again here in Rio.’
Djere will meet Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas or Canadian hotshot Felix Auger Aliassime in the final.
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