Dan Evans had waited for years for his maiden ATP Tour win on clay. Now, on the red stuff at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona, he has managed two victories in two days.
Less than 24 hours after Evans had fought back from a set down to beat Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro, he won again, defeating Mischa Zverev 6-4, 6-4 to move into the last-16 at the Barcelona Open.
Zverev – who unexpectedly dumped Andy Murray out in the opening round at the Australian Open and who was seeded 14th for this tournament – was widely expected to beat Evans, but wound up losing in straight sets to the World No 43.
Both men made a solid start to the match and served out their service games in the first set, until Evans broke in the tenth to take the set 6-4.
Zverev made a brighter start to the second set and broke early, but Evans rallied, quickly breaking back to level the set at 3-3.
He then broke Zverev to love at 5-4 to take the set and win the match in just under an hour and a half on Court No 2.
Edmund, who sits a solitary place above Evans in the ATP rankings, had confidently dispatched Jeremy Chardy in the opening round on Monday but was brushed aside by Thiem, seeded fourth in Barcelona and ranked ninth in the world.
The 23-year-old broke Edmund twice early on, taking the first set 6-1.
He broke again to take a 3-2 lead in the second, with Edmund twice spurning break points of his own. Thiem went on to seal a routine 6-1, 6-4 victory in little over an hour and 20 minutes.
World No 1 Murray will play his first match at this year’s tournament today when he takes on Australia’s Bernard Tomic, who beat the enigmatic Dustin Brown 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 to book his place in the next round.
Murray has played the young Australian four times before without even dropping a set, and will hope to recover from his surprising loss to Albert Ramos Viñolas at the Monte Carlo Masters.
At the Hungarian Open in Budapest, British number four Aljaz Bedene beat lucky loser Marius Copil 7-5, 6-2 to progress into the second round.
He will now play Dutchman Robin Haase, ranked 46th in the world.