Dan Evans reveals he has been tapping into the wisdom of Ricky Ponting

Dan Evans reveals he has been tapping into the wisdom of ‘inspirational’ Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting to help him reach the US Open fourth round… as he prepares to face Daniil Medvedev next

  • Dan Evans experienced some Ashes-type sledging in his win over Alex Popyrin 
  • He has also been using an Australian cricket legend to progress at the US Open 
  • The words in Ricky Ponting’s book have been ‘inspirational’, Evans has revealed 
  • Second seed Daniil Medvedev will next face Evans, who wants to be ‘aggressive’

Having won a match involving some Ashes-type sledging, Dan Evans revealed that an Australian cricket legend has helped him reach the fourth round of the US Open.

Evans will face second seed Daniil Medvedev on Sunday after his gripping comeback win against Alex Popyrin. During it he was continually ‘chirped’ by some Aussies sitting behind him during changeovers.

‘I think I had Tim Paine behind my chair at every change of end, nattering away,’ joked Evans after making the last sixteen at Flushing Meadows for the first time.

Dan Evans revealed he has been reading Ricky Ponting’s book during his time at the US Open

A keen student of cricket, he then revealed that he has been tapping the wisdom of another Australian captain, Ricky Ponting, in his quest for self-improvement.

‘There’s probably a bit of irony in this but I started reading Ponting’s book at the start of this trip. I wasn’t feeling great and it’s been pretty inspirational, motivational.

‘He had some pretty tough times when he was captain.

Australian cricket legend Ponting (pictured) has been described as ‘inspirational’ by Evans

‘He wrote a lot down the night before on what he wanted to do, how he wanted to go out the next day. really reminded himself.

‘He’s a really tough character, it really helped. In best-of-five sets, being tough is one of the main things you need to be, hanging in. It’s obviously a very different sport, but I just enjoyed it. I took some things from it which I’ll probably use now for the rest of my career.’

The progress of him and Emma Raducanu has further contributed to this being a reasonably strong summer for Britain’s elite players, even if issues in the domestic game persist elsewhere. This week there was also three women qualifying and Andy Murray’s remarkable effort in the first round.

While that overall situation has pleased the GB men’s number one, he bluntly shot down the suggestion that, in a highly individual sport, it had contributed to his success this past week.

Evans experienced some Ashes-style sledging during his third round victor over Alexei Popyrin

‘It makes no difference to my life if they’re winning or losing. I haven’t had time to watch their matches but it’s great everybody’s doing well, and obviously Emma is doing unbelievable. But it’s not going to make me win any more matches. I’m happy for those guys. Cam (Norrie) has had a great year, but a tough draw here.

‘What I do take is we’ve got a hell of a strong team for Davis Cup, and that’s where I’m pretty interested to see how we go (in late November). It’s me, Andy, Cam, three good singles players. We have the three doubles guys, whoever might get picked. The end of the year, it’s something to really look forward to, the Davis Cup. I think we’ve got a strong hand.’

In playing the rampant Medvedev he has the second least enviable task in tennis after facing Novak Djokovic. Again he will be giving a lot in height against a tremendous athlete.

Evans will not be looking at it as a ‘nothing to lose’ situation: ‘I don’t really like that sort of terminology or thinking. I’ve got to play aggressive but I can’t just start wailing away at balls.

Now in the fourth round, Evans will face Daniil Medvedev (above) and wants to be ‘aggressive’

‘His serve and his movement, they are two of the best things. I think his serve is underrated. He rolls through his service games very quickly. I don’t want to keep going on how good he is. I think his ranking gives that away.’

Medvedev’s form in the first three rounds is certainly justifying his billing as the biggest threat to Djokovic. He has been immune from all the upset drama of the first week.

Whatever happens, the ever-evolving court craft of Evans has almost certainly guaranteed him a career-high ranking next week, quite possibly up to number 23.

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