Dan Evans cracked the clay court code after four winless years, with the Brit earning his first victory since 2017 on the surface to reach the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday.
The No. 33 last tasted success on the dirt at Barcelona when he beat Mischa Zverev. he advanced here with a 6-3, 6-7(11), 6-2 defeat of 2019 finalist Dusan Lajovic.
The match was interrupted by Monday’s rain after Evans had won the opening set..
Evans will test his form next against Miami Masters winner Hubert Hurkacz, who defeated Thomas Fabbiano of Italy 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
It’s nice to win the match. I’m never,” Evans said. “I never think on a clay court ‘I need to win this, big moment.’
“I’m just trying to win the match, play my game and come through.”
The winner missed out of two match points in the second-set tiebreaker which could have ended things earlier. But Lajovic levelled the sets on his sixth chance.
In the third, Evans got away to a double break and claimed victory on his fourth winning chance after two and three-quarter hours of cumulative battle over two days.
“When you really want to get over the line, you’ve had a few matches where you’ve lost some, it’s just never easy,” he said.
“It’s the hardest point, the last point. The last set was tight. I had a big lead, then got broken (sixth game leading 4-2).
“It’s difficult when things aren’t going your way. I was feeling it out there, no doubt.”