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US Open tennis 2021 – Dan Evans mounts epic comeback to beat Alexei Popyrin over five sets

US Open tennis 2021 - Dan Evans mounts epic comeback to beat Alexei Popyrin over five sets

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Dan Evans came back from two sets down to win 4-6 3-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(7-1) against Alexei Popyrin to reach the fourth round of the US Open for the first time in his career.

The Australian dominated the service game throughout the match and he was able to force his way to a 6-4 win in the first set before claiming the second 6-3.

At that point 24th seed Evans had to win the third set if he wanted to remain in the match, and pulled off a chiasmatic comeback as he won 6-3, before fighting to a 6-4 win in the fourth.

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Evans had endured a four-set struggle against Marcos Giron in his second round match on Wednesday to reach this stage.

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Popyrin, meanwhile, was coming off a morale-boosting upset win over Bulgaria’s Grior Dimitrov, with the 15th seed well beaten over the course of three sets.

That levelled the match at 2-2 after both competitors had been broken five times apiece in a match where neither player was obviously superior for a sustained period.

At 2-1 down, Evans had to knuckle down under pressure as Popyrin had him on a break point, only for the 31-year-old to face down a resurgent effort from the 22-year-old.

Popyrin battled to a 5-4 lead as the fifth set went with service, meaning Evans had to win the next game in order to have a hope to force a tie-break. With the match at 5-5 Evans remonstrated with the umpire over a line call that went against him as the pressure grew, and the pair of them went to 6-6.

The Englishman broke his opponent with a strikingly confident 7-1 tie-break victory in the fifth set to set up a match with Daniil Medvedev.

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