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US Open 2021: Dan Evans beats Marcos Giron in four sets to reach third round

Evans rallies after dropping the third set to seal a place in the last 32 where he will face Australian Alexei Popyrin who accounted for an injured Grigor Dimitrov

Dan Evans, of Great Britain, reacts after defeating Marcos Giron, of the United States, in the second round of the US Open tennis championships, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Image: Dan Evans made it through to the third round of the US Open after an impressive four-set win over American Marcos Giron

British No 1 Dan Evans advanced to the third round of the US Open with a four-set win over American Marcos Giron, as his quarter of the draw opened up following Grigor Dimitrov's exit.

Evans is working his way back to full fitness after being forced to withdraw from the Olympics following a positive test for Covid-19, and the 31-year-old has admitted to struggling on his return.

However, the New York major is a tournament that has brought out the best in him, and despite a third-set wobble and a couple of rain delays, the 24th seed stood firm to see off Giron for a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 2-6 6-3 victory to book a spot in the last 32 and, along with Emma Raducanu, keep British hopes alive.

Evans will next face Alexei Popyrin in New York (Pete Staples/USTA)
Image: Evans will next face Alexei Popyrin in New York (Pete Staples/USTA)

Evans, who will rise to a career best of at least 24th in the world rankings after the tournament, was in impressive form early on after getting underway following a short rain delay, breaking in the opening game and easing to the first set.

With a 6-4 3-4 advantage having wrestled back an early break, Evans and Giron left the court for the first time as the rain fell only for the Brit to return and claim the second set against the world no 64.

The American fought back impressively to take the third set before a dramatic conclusion to the match in what proved to be the deciding set that had been keenly contested.

With the pair locked at 3-3, Evans appeared to suffer an upper leg injury and, after holding on to his serve, he spoke to the chair umpire about a visit from the trainer.

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However, Giron crumbled on his own serve and allowed Evans to break for a 5-3 lead and the chance to serve for the match. By the time the trainer arrived on Court No 10, Evans had held onto his serve to close out the contest and reach the third round for a fourth time.

The 31-year-old has never gone beyond the last 32 in New York, but he will have a decent chance of reaching the last 16 after his seeded opponent Grigor Dimitrov was forced to withdraw from his match against Australia's Alexei Popyrin.

The Australian claimed the first two sets and opened up a 4-0 lead in the third when 15th seed Dimitrov called a halt to proceedings with a foot injury allowing Popyrin to advance to his date with Evans.

Further down the line, in-form world no 2 Daniil Medvedev is a prospective opponent for Evans and the 2019 runner-up was in ominous form once again as he looks to claim his first Grand Slam title.

Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, returns a shot to Dominik Koepfer, of Germany, during the second round of the US Open tennis championships, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Image: Daniil Medvedev is chasing a maiden Grand Slam title after defeats in two major finals (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

After dropping eight games against Richard Gasquet in the first round, the Russian dropped just seven in a 6-4 6-1 6-2 win over Dominik Koepfer and will next face Spain's Pablo Andujar, who was a straight-sets winner over Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Medvedev's fellow Russian Andrey Rublev came through a tough first two sets to book his place in the third round.

The fifth seed shared the first two sets with Spain's Pedro Martinez, both won on tie breaks, before losing just two more games as he eased into a meeting with Frances Tiafoe, who was hugely impressive in dispatching Guido Pella 6-1 6-2 7-5.

Elsewhere, Norway's Casper Ruud became the highest seed to fall in the men's tournament, the world No 11 lost to the unheralded Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp ranked 116 places lower than him.

Ruud won the first set but Van de Zandschulp fought back brilliantly for a 3-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 win to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career - which is not a surprise as the 25-year-old had never played in the main draw of a major before this season.

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