Evans: 'I Will Never Forget Beating Novak'
“It's been a good week; it's been pretty long [and] it’s been mentally pretty draining,” said Evans, who came into the ATP Masters 1000 tournament at the Monte-Carlo Country Club on the back of a 10-match losing streak.
“I've not been home since I think before Australia. I'm really enjoying being out and playing matches. It's really helped playing doubles with Neal [Skupski and] sort of have a pretty good friend here. Obviously, I got my girlfriend… Granted, we're in a bubble. But it's been a pretty easy workplace to play and to live in.”
The 30-year-old Briton knocked out World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5 in the third round on Thursday and is projected to return to his career-high of No. 26 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on Monday.
“You can't say it's bad to beat the World No. 1, but it was pretty draining, like, the day after [and] the end of that day,” said Evans. “I could know what to expect of it more with bigger wins. Yeah, it was difficult. Today, the nature of the game at this level, especially Masters , at any time of the tournament, you have to back up win after win after win, if you want to go all the way."
Evans, who lost to Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-1 in the semi-finals, added, “Today was difficult. Obviously doesn't help the way he plays. He's very aggressive. So there's still work to be done. I can't be negative about today. [I] just have to park that and go again really. It's been a great week. I won't ever forget beating Novak, World No. 1. Yesterday to back it up in a great match was good, as well.”
The British No. 1, who captured his first ATP Tour title in February at the Murray River Open (d. Auger-Aliassime), is now 10-6 on the season and is looking forward to the rest of the clay swing.
“I'm genuinely enjoying playing tennis and competing, having a good battle,” said Evans. “I lost, but I enjoyed it. It's another great time on a tennis court, on a great court. I've enjoyed all the other matches.
“I prepared well. I gave myself the best chance. That's what I'll do for the rest of the season. I think on the clay, I could take some of that onto the grass. Maybe [onto] the Grand Slams, on the hard, I've been putting a bit too much pressure [on myself], looking to really want to win.
“Rather than when I come out on the clay, I'm more focused on my game and trying to get that right, then the result comes. There's things to maybe take onto the grass and the hard from this week definitely.”