Dan Evans has ended a losing streak of four matches and also a four-year wait for a win on clay, at the Monte Carlo Masters.
30-year-old Briton Evans has suffered a string of defeats building up to his victory on Tuesday in Monaco, defeating Dusan Lajovic 6-3 6-7 (11-13) 6-2.
Speaking after the match, he said to Amazon Prime: "It obviously got a bit ugly in the second set. It was difficult because the last few matches have been tough, especially last week, and I was thinking about that a bit.
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"It was tough to swallow the missed smash but I came back and I thought I played well throughout the whole match to be honest. Dusan's a good clay-court player. It sounds a bit silly but it's better when I play a clay-courter on this stuff because they're not used to my game so much."
Evans has found clay a difficult surface over the course of his career and his last win came in Rome in 2019 against Lajovic in a qualifying match, and he had not won at tour level since April 2017 at the Barcelona Open.
With the match evenly poised at the start of the third set, Lajovic displayed his nerves and Evans attacked his opponent, and on his fourth match point was able to finally get his win over the line.
He will play Miami Open champion Hubert Hurkacz, who defeated Thomas Fabbiano 6-3 3-6 6-3, in the second round.
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Evans also confirmed that he would be willing to stay at a hotel in order to play at Wimbledon despite being British.
"Yeah, if you're any nationality, I don't think there's exceptions, is there? I've not heard of any exceptions. Rightly so. If that's what it takes to get the tournament on, then yeah," he said.
"I mean, I would have no issues if some of the top guys were given a bit of leeway, past champions, et cetera, where they can stay at a house. I think they would be pretty responsible, not be out for dinner.
"It's going to be a different Wimbledon, isn't it? I don't really know what to expect, but yet I'll expect they'll do a good job."
Evans said he would be happy to be vaccinated, at a time when some shots are being paused due to concerns they may cause blood clots in rare cases.
"I mean, I can't talk on anyone else's behalf, " he began.
"But it's definitely in mind I'm very eager to get vaccinated, if I can. It would be heartbreaking if I tested positive for Wimbledon. It's very important to stick to the protocols in place.
"If some people are being blasé, then it ruins it for everybody else because if one person tests positive, this virus, it can go round very quickly. So seeing scenes in England yesterday, I won't be socialising any time soon."
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