© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Daniel Evans beat two of the top four seeds en route to the Murray River Open title.

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Daniel Evans

Evans claimed first trophy in third ATP Tour final

Last year, Daniel Evans rose to a career-high No. 28 in the FedEx ATP Rankings and claimed eight wins against Top 20 opposition. There was only one thing missing from his list of 2020 achievements: a first ATP Tour title.

The Brit wasted no time adding that honour to his 2021 list, as he claimed five straight-sets wins to clinch the Murray River Open trophy on Sunday. Evans is the first man to win his maiden ATP Tour title in 2021 and he becomes the first British player to win a tour-level trophy since Kyle Edmund’s title run at the 2020 New York Open.

ATPTour.com caught up with the World No. 33 after his victory to talk about his week in Melbourne and the path he has taken to reach this milestone.

What does it mean to you to win your first ATP Tour title?
It is good to come through. I had lost two before, so it is good to win today [and get] some good preparation for next week.

You reached your first final in Sydney four years ago. How much you have grown as a player and a person since then?
It has been a long time. I have had plenty of chances to get back into a final and win one, so it is a good feeling to have come through.

You held championship points at the 2019 Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com. What did you learn from that experience that helped you get over the line today?
I learned to forget it. I learned to forget the chances you have missed and keep looking ahead. It is a good thing to be able to do.

Last season, you recorded eight Top 20 wins. How much confidence did your performances in 2020 give you as you prepared for this season?
It was a difficult year last year. In the tennis that I did play, I played good. It always gives you confidence to beat the better players and I was confident coming into this year.

What did you work on during the pandemic and ahead of the 2021 season? Were there any particular areas that you wanted to improve on?
I didn’t get to play much tennis during the pandemic. I worked on my fitness a lot and when we could play tennis again, I just worked on my game. The normal, basic stuff.

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Who are the people you would most like to thank for getting you to this milestone in your career?
Everybody who has been involved in my tennis has been through a lot. It is good that everybody still sticks around. It has been good and I am just happy to be able to repay them with the win today.

Will you find a small moment to celebrate this title today, before your mind shifts to your first match at the Australian Open?
I play Tuesday, so I will go for dinner tonight and relax a bit. I can focus tomorrow.