2021 in Review: Daniel Evans claims maiden ATP title over Felix Auger-Aliassime



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2021 in Review: Daniel Evans claims maiden ATP title over Felix Auger-Aliassime

The 30-year-old Daniel Evans claimed the first ATP title at 30 in February, beating Felix Auger-Aliassime to conquer the Murray River Open in Melbourne. Evans ousted Auger-Aliassime 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 17 minutes, adding 250 points to his tally and cracking the top-30 a day later.

Felix suffered the seventh consecutive loss in the ATP Finals, failing to win at least a set in any Tour-level title matches and producing another pale performance to stay on five games. Serving well and mixing the rallies' pace superbly with his slices, Evans landed 13 winners and 11 unforced errors.

The Canadian counted over 30 mistakes, incapable of finding his range or changing the scoreboard. Daniel lost 11 points on serve (almost half in the closing stages) and suffered only one break once he was already a set and two breaks up.

The Briton took nearly half of the return points to secure five breaks from eight opportunities. Nothing could separate them in the shortest rallies up to four strokes, and Evans forged the victory with a convincing performance in the more extended exchanges.

Felix held at 30 in the first game before Daniel landed an ace to level the score at 1-1. Both players held at love in games three and four to remain neck and neck, and Evans broke the servers' pace by taking four straight points in game five and delivering the first break with a forehand down the line winner.

Daniel Evans defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime for his first ATP title in Melbourne.

The Briton held with a service winner to confirm the advantage and gained another break in game seven when the youngster sprayed a forehand error.

In game eight, Daniel forced Felix's error to wrap up the opener 6-2 in 31 minutes, looking good to seal the deal in set number two. Evans opened it with three comfortable holds and broke in game three following Auger-Aliassime's backhand mistake.

Barely losing a point behind the initial shot, Daniel held at 15 in game four to extend the advantage and painted a forehand crosscourt winner at 3-2 to remain ahead. Marching towards the finish line, Evans seized another break in game seven and served for the title a few moments later.

In his first decent return game, Felix pulled one break back to prolong the encounter before suffering a break a few minutes later when Daniel landed a volley winner to celebrate his first ATP title.