Bernard Tomic overcame a spirited effort from Dan Evans to keep Australia within touching distance of the Davis Cup final.
Playing a player ranked 177 places below him, Tomic took the match 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (4), 6-4.
Despite the substantial ranking difference, there were aspects of the match where both players was as good as each other. Tomic was the first top 100 player that Evans has played in 2015 as he made a tentative approach at the start of the match.
These vulnerabilities were exposed in the second game of the match as the world number 23 broke the Brit’s serve with his fourth break point opportunity. Tomic was in full control as he opened up a 3-0 safety margin. Evens presence on the court began to improve as he produced some stunning shots which were reminiscent of his best form.
The trouble was that he was lacking the consistency as Tomic eased to take the first set after 29 minutes. During the first set, the Australian lost three points on his serve.
The start of the second set had a similar story-line to the first with Evans struggling against Tomic, who was clearly the more visibly stronger player.
Coming into the match the Brit has won a series of titles, however, they were at tournaments below the standard of the highest tier of the Davis Cup. Regardless of the lower level of match play, Tomic experienced a tougher encounter during the second set as Evans broke back due to an unforced error from the Austrailian to level at 3-3.
Tomic had the chance to break for a 5-4 lead before an impressive response from the world number 300. Evans fired two aces followed by a serve and volley to edge ahead in the second set as a tie-break loomed.