Daniel Evans came to Monte Carlo with four Masters 1000 triumphs, improving his tally in the Principality and moving into the quarter-final with a stunning 6-4, 7-5 victory over world no. 1 and a former champion Novak Djokovic.
The Briton needed two hours and six minutes to beat the world's leading players, prevailing in the pivotal moments to advance into the quarters and deliver Novak's first loss of the season. Evans claimed three points more than Djokovic in the opening set, enduring the more extended rallies with a good mixture of slices and deep groundstrokes.
Novak had 11 winners and huge 23 unforced errors, while Daniel produced five winners and 13 mistakes, beating the world's leading player in the mid-range and most prolonged exchanges to claim the opener 6-4. Unable to find his strokes early on, Novak netted an easy backhand to suffer a break at 15 in the first game.
Daniel Evans stunned Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo.
A former champion sprayed a backhand mistake in game two, allowing Evans to confirm the break and falling further behind when the Briton landed a perfect drop shot in game three.
Daniel wasted a game point at 3-0 and suffered a break after a brave serve & volley that he couldn't control. Feeling the ball, Novak held at love in game five and created two break chances in the next one. Evans fought them off and held after four deuces and almost ten minutes to remain 4-2 ahead.
The Briton squandered a game point at 4-3 and got broken after sending a clear forehand long. Instead of building on that, Novak lost serve at 15 in game nine, allowing Daniel to seize the third set point at 5-4 and secure the opener after a grueling 56 minutes.
Djokovic held after deuce at the beginning of the second set and broke in the next one after forcing Evan's error. The Serb closed the third game with a service winner and looked good to force a decider soon after that.
Instead, Daniel completed the fourth game with an unreturned serve and pulled the break back with a forehand down the line winner to reduce the deficit. Fighting for every point, Evans fended off a break chance in game eight and four deuces for a vital hold and 4-4, sending the pressure back to Novak's side.
The Briton fended off a set point in game ten for a massive boost, stealing Novak's serve in game 11 and sealing the deal with a forehand winner at 6-5 for a career-best victory.