NEW YORK (Reuters) - Englishman Dan Evans revealed a snub from the father of Bernard Tomic was the motivation behind his upset victory over the combative Australian in the second round of the U.S. Open on Thursday.
The world No.179 eliminated Tomic 1-6 6-3 7-6(4) 6-3 before recalling the time John Tomic, who is banned from the ATP Tour because of an assault charge against him in Spain, told him he was not good enough to train with his son.
“It was quite funny, actually,” Evans said.
”I was there playing quallies. His dad sort of fobbed me off and said I wasn’t good enough to practice with him. I remembered that.
“We went to practice. It was all booked. In Miami, there’s a little practice hut. I got to the practice hut. His dad said, ‘No, no. He’s a qualifier, I‘m not hitting with you. So, it was one of those. A bit embarrassing, but hey.”
Evans said he held no grudge against Tomic jnr because he wasn’t there when he was given his marching orders.
“I know him (Bernard) pretty well,” Evans said. “Played juniors with him. But I don’t think it was his doing. He wasn’t there.”
Evans, who has been of the big surprises of the tournament, also revealed he needed medical treatment against Tomic for an unusual affliction.
“My nipples were about the color of your shirt,” he told a reporter wearing a bright pink shirt.
“Oh, the stick I‘m going to get back home is, like, devastating....I don’t know what it was. It was just agony.”
Evans, who beat Japan’s world No.12 Kei Nishikori in the opening round, moved into an unexpected third-round clash against Spain’s 19th-seeded Tommy Robredo.
Trailing a set and a break at 2-3, Evans swore while admonishing himself and the fightback began.
“I‘m not pleased with the F-bomb,” he said.
“It was pleasing I could find some belief inside and find my game, because it wasn’t there. I looked at the clock, I think it was 34 minutes and I was a set and a break down. It was looking like the airport for me.”
Evans said Tomic’s defensive playing style had given him the chance to play aggressively.
“He gave me a lot of opportunities to play,” Evans said.
“He made me look pretty good in the tiebreak. He was just pushing the ball into the middle of the court. It was like I had to be brave and hit the ball. That’s what he makes you do. He lures you in.”
Roger Federer looms as a possible fourth-round opponent for Evans. The Englishman has never played Federer but unlike Tomic’s father, the Swiss master had no reservations about practicing with him at Flushing Meadows this week.
“It was amazing to hit with someone so good. I really enjoyed it,” Evans said.
“We actually had a really good hit. He was a nice guy, interested in what I did. It was good.”
Editing by Julian Linden