ATP Nottingham: Dan Evans saves three match points to defeat compatriot Liam Broady

Dan Evans recovered from a set down and three match points down in the final set to book his place in the second round of the Aegon Open in Nottingham. He defeated his British compatriot Liam Broady 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(6) in two hours and eight minutes.

Broady takes the first set

It was Broady who got off to a fast start, breaking his compatriot immediately on his second break point chance to take the opening game of the match. The Brit, ranked at 234 in the world, saved break back point at 4-3, before breaking the world number 92 again to win the set 6-3.

Evans responds in set number two

Evans responded quickly to the loss of the first set, breaking Broady’s serve immediately for the first time in the match. An overhead smash missed into the net put Broady under pressure once more in his next service game, but the Brit struck a superb backhand down the line winner to deny his compatriot and hold to reduce the score to 2-1.

Evans, the British number four, inflicted further damage on Broady’s serve in the fifth game, breaking his opponent to love after as he dragged the overhead smash wide to trail 4-1.

In a marathon sixth game which lasted over eight minutes, Evans saved a first break point with a backhand volley after squandering multiple game points. A double fault left him facing a second break point, but the British number four stepped up with a forehand winner followed by big serving to take a 5-1 lead.

When serving for the set the world number 92 trailed 0-30, but raised his game when facing adversity as he had done throughout this set. Evans was able to win four points in a row to capture the set 6-2.

Broady was under pressure in the third game of the final set down 0-40 after a series of untimely unforced errors. The Brit responded brilliantly, finding big first serves to secure five points in a row to secure a vital hold of serve.

Broady felt certain that the ball was out on his second match point. Photo: LTA
Broady felt certain that the ball was out on his second match point. Photo: LTA

Broady denied the match

The tenth game of the match proved to be absolutely pivotal in deciding the fate of the match. Broady demonstrated sheer determination and shot making ability to earn himself three match points at 0-40. Evans saved the first with a forehand winner, but it was the second match point which was highly controversial.

It appeared as though Evans had struck his forehand just wide and just long of the baseline as Broady began to celebrate with a drop of the racket and a clenched fist. However, the call of out never came, much to Broady’s and the crowds disbelief. After having an altercation with the umpire the call stood as there is no Hawkeye on the courts at Nottingham Tennis Centre.

Evans saved the following match point with an ace to increase the world number 234’s frustration as the British number four went on to hold to level the match at five games all. Broady recovered from 0-30 down in his next service game after an understandable blip and reeled off four points in a row before we were all set for a final set tiebreak.

Broady made the first error on serve in the tiebreak to go 3-1 down before Evans made an unforced error to relinquish his advantage. The world number 92 responded to that disappointment with an ace to reach match point at 6-5. His British compatriot saved it with a volley winner before Evans fired a forehand winner to get another mini break.

He made no mistake on serve with his second match point as he secured victory, a controversial one at that, but not his fault as he books his place in round two to face 16th seed Ricardas Berankis tomorrow last up on Centre Court.

Evans celebrates victory as he signs autographs for the fans. Photo: LTA
Evans celebrates victory as he signs autographs for the fans. Photo: LTA

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