Daniel Evans came to Monte Carlo with four ATP victories on clay, and none since 2017! Against all odds, the Briton will compete in the quarter-final in the Principality after three wins, finding his A-game on the dirt and stealing the headlines on Thursday.
Daniel defeated a former Monte Carlo champion Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and six minutes, performing his career's most impressive triumph and setting the quarter-final clash against David Goffin. Novak played well against Jannik Sinner on Wednesday, and that wasn't the case today, struggling with the conditions and the rival's slices and changes of pace to suffer the season's first loss.
Djokovic fired 28 winners and 45 unforced errors, struggling to find the timing and spraying too many mistakes from his backhand wing. Evans played better in the mid-range exchanges and endured all the efforts to overpower Novak in straight sets and celebrate the most notable victory at 30.
Daniel fended off seven out of ten break chances and stole Novak's serve five times from seven opportunities, delivering better tennis in the pivotal moments to topple the world's most formidable rival when we talk about mental strength.
Evans stayed calm after losing serve in the opener and returned from 3-0 down in set number two to cross the finish line without playing a decider.
Daniel Evans spoke about his massive victory over world no. 1 Novak Djokovic.
"It hasn't sunk in yet.
I couldn't quite believe the last ball went over the net; it nearly didn't. I was pleased, regardless of how I was playing coming into the match; I felt good. You can never be confident coming into such a big match like that against Novak.
It is a big win, and I'm delighted that I got through, especially being a break down and having troubles in the first set. It was pleasing, and I'm happy. The biggest thing is, you have got to believe you can win. I can walk on saying it, but you have got to believe it.
Of course, I doubted myself in the match. Serving it out is not easy. You have got all sorts of things running through your head. I'm just happy with how it went, and it will be one to savor for maybe after the tournament, to tell the kids and grandkids that you beat the World No. 1. It is a nice one," Daniel Evans said.