Dan Evans through to first ATP final with win at Sydney International
By Paul Vinnell
Last Updated: 13/01/17 3:07pm
Britain’s Dan Evans has reached his first ATP Tour final with a 6-2 3-6 6-3 victory over Andrey Kuznetsov at the Sydney International.
Evans, the world No 67, is one step away from his first senior title, and he will fancy his chances against Luxembourg veteran Gilles Muller - who has also never won an ATP title - in Saturday's final.
There could be an unlikely British treble in Sydney - Johanna Konta has done her bit by winning the women's crown, and Jamie Murray and partner Bruno Soares have also reached the doubles final.
Evans, who stunned top seed and world No 8 Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals, made the most of Kuznetsov's misfiring first serve to win the first set interrupted briefly by rain.
Kuznetsov got his serve functioning to even up the match in the second but it faltered again in the third and Evans grabbed a key break for 3-1 before serving out the match to love after another rain break.
"I am excited," Evans said. "I am really happy with the way I played to come back in the third set again and get the job done.
"I'm feeling pretty tired. I'll try to get some massage before I leave here and then get some good sleep ahead of the final."
Muller, at 34, is the highest-ranked player in the top 50 without a tournament title after losing in five finals, including two last season, both on grass in 's-Hertogenbosch and Newport.
Muller ended Viktor Troicki's two year unbeaten run at the Sydney International with a fighting 6-3 7-6 (8-6) victory in his semi-final.
He has an excellent record in Sydney, having reached the semi-finals in the last two years.
In Auckland, Jack Sock and Joao Sousa will contest the ASB Classic final after both men came through their semi-final in straight sets.
Sock, a runner-up in this event last year, beat Steve Johnson 6-4 6-3, having already overcome another American in the shape of John Isner in the quarter-final, while Sousa saw off Marcos Baghdatis 6-1 7-5.