SYDNEY (AFP) – British captain Tim Henman called Dan Evans “world class” yesterday after he backed up his ATP Cup upset of world number 11 David Goffin by crushing Moldova’s Radu Albot.
Evans, who has climbed to 42 in the world after starting last season at 199, was too strong for a player ranked four places below him in the 6-2, 6-2 thrashing.
Cameron Norrie won his singles clash with Alexander Cozbinov by the same score before Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury dismissed Albot and Cozbinov 6-2, 6-3 in doubles to seal the tie 3-0.
Henman’s team have won two and lost one in Group C, with their fate in the balance ahead of Bulgaria playing Belgium later yesterday.
The top nations from the six groups at the inaugural 24-team event progress to the quarter-finals along with the best two runners-up.
“I would say my concern for the Evans match was how he would respond after putting in such a good performance against Goffin. It’s not always easy to back that up,” said Henman.
“I mean, he was world class again. Gave so little away. Got off to a very good start, took his opportunities, and it was a really clinical performance.”
Evans said he was enjoying the experience of starting the season with a team event, with everyone supporting each other.
“I mean, it’s enjoyable to have the guys on the side. To (have them) sort of come out every point, point in, point out, has really helped. Not just me. I think everyone is sort of focussed a little better than on tour.
“So I don’t think it’s an accident that I have been playing good, focusing on that. I’ll definitely use that for when I’m carrying on during the year.”