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Wimbledon 2021: Dan Evans knocked out by debutant Sebastian Korda in third round
British No 1 Dan Evans fell shy of the fourth round at Wimbledon as he was beaten in four sets by 20-year-old American debutant Sebastian Korda, who will now face Karen Khachanov.
Last Updated: 02/07/21 7:54pm
Sebastian Korda previewed a bright future for American tennis as he defeated Britain's Dan Evans to reach the fourth round and continue his impressive run on debut at Wimbledon.
Making his first appearance on Centre Court, the 20-year-old flaunted his potential once again by beating the British No 1 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 24 minutes to become just the fifth debutant to reach the round of 16 at the All England Club in the last decade.
Evans had been eyeing a place in the fourth round for the first time in his career, but was unable to find an answer for the power and punch of his opponent, who will now face world No 25 Karen Khachanov after the Russian dispatched Frances Tiafoe in straight sets earlier in the day.
For Korda, it marked another leap in prominence following his wins over Alex de Minaur and Antoine Hoang as he out-manoeuvred the versatility and work ethic of Evans, who had 18 unforced errors compared to his opponents' 43 and actually recorded a better win percentage on first serves despite voicing his need to improve at the baseline.
"I just stayed calm in the biggest moments as much as I could, I tried to stay relax and just play attacking tennis," said Korda. "I'm really proud of myself for that today."
"(It's) a big achievement. A year ago I was 220 in the world and now I'm here in the fourth round in Wimbledon. I have my family and coaches to thank and everyone around me.
"My dad (Petr Korda) won a Grand Slam, my sister (Nelly Korda) just won a major as the number one golfer in the world, it's super inspiring and it's crazy."
Korda, ranked 50 in the world heading into the tournament, found himself struggling to take advantage on Evans' second serves early on but weathered the Brit's sliced backhand with confidence and set the tone with his willingness to approach the net.
He clinched the vital break to go 4-3 up before seeing out the first set with a thumping volleyed winner that embodied his superior stature on the day.
Three rare mistakes - two clumsy backhands either side of a matching forehand landing in the tramlines - pegged Korda back to give Evans the break at 4-2 in the second set, which the 31-year-old built on by dropping just one more game on his way to levelling up the match.
Korda edged ahead 4-2 with the break in the third set, only for Evans to respond immediately by converting his fourth break point in a game that lasted 13 minutes and went to deuce on six occasions. But it was to no avail, his 6ft 5in obstacle undoing Evans' hard work while showing some admirable mental resilience before seeing out the set after another showcase of his raw and developing delicacy at the net.
Evans continued to hustle in the fourth as Korda displayed momentary signs of fatigue, although mere signs failed to materialise into any kind of momentum swing as the former squandered two break points while leading 2-1.
The break did come for Evans to make it 4-2 in his favour, but once more Korda conjured an instant reply before nullifying the Monte Carlo Masters semi-finalist and serving out for the match.