Pole too strong for Evans
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:49
Evans, 19, took to the court for his first Davis Cup match after Andy Murray had given the hosts a 1-0 lead with a 6-4 6-2 6-4 victory over Michal Przysiezny at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
The Birmingham teenager was always likely to be up against it facing an opponent ranked 41 places above him at 261st in the world and boasting an extra nine inches in height. And so it proved as a match of numerous service breaks went the way of Janowicz 6-3 6-3 7-6 (7/5).
Evans was broken in the first game as the 18-year-old Pole fired down the first of many forehand winners, but the Briton got back on level terms in game six thanks to a series of errors from his opponent.
Parity proved to be shortlived, however, as some big-hitting from the Pole gave him the advantage again. The power difference was starting to tell and, after saving two set points on his own serve, Evans was broken again as Janowicz took the opener 6-3.
The pair exchanged breaks at the start of the second set but, after world number 302 Evans missed another chance in game three, his Polish opponent broke to love in the sixth game to move 4-2 in front.
Evans dug in to force Janowicz to serve out the set, and the tide looked to be turning when he won the first three points of the next game. But five points in a row from the Pole gave him the second set as a frustrated Evans reflected on what might have been.
The Briton forged ahead at the start of the third set with two straight games but, as he had done in the previous two sets, 6ft 6in Janowicz immediately hit back.
This time the Pole did not surge ahead, however, and it was Evans who looked more dominant on his serve. He took Janowicz to deuce as the Pole served to stay in the set. But Janowicz produced his best tennis when the pressure was on, including a superb backhand pass and a second-serve ace.
A more comfortable hold took the set into a tie-break, and it was Janowicz who took the initiative with an early 4-1 lead. Evans dug in once more to level things at 5-5 but that was as good as it got and moments later the Pole was celebrating a straight-sets victory to level the tie.