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An emotional Dan Evans said he feared his Covid symptoms coming back at the US Open after making his way into the third round on Wednesday night.
Evans was forced to miss out on the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive with the virus and, after the best season of his career, admitted he had struggled physically to get back to health and fitness.
But the British No1 defied any physical or mental demons in a rain-affected 6-4 7-6 2-6 6-3 win over American Marcos Giron.
Of the illness, Evans said: “I was in a good place after Wimbledon – in good shape – and I got knocked for six really. I was struggling after Covid and, when you’ve got no confidence, it is tough. Coming back was difficult, it was very slow. It hurt a lot of the time.
“There’s so many unknowns. You don’t know if it’s ever going to come back. Do you get long Covid? It was more of a mental thing. I put in some good work after Cincinnati with my trainer and then hopefully I’m ready to go in the next round and hopefully the round after that.”
There were some rollercoaster moments for the world No24 as he reached the US Open, the Grand Slam where he has enjoyed his best results, third round for a fourth time.
He was broken early in the second set but broke back to take the tiebreak and could not be undone by rain delays or treatment from the trainer for a toe injury.