World No. 67 Daniel Evans recorded the biggest win of his career on Thursday at the Apia International Sydney for a place in his second ATP World Tour semi-final (2014 Zagreb).
The 26-year-old Briton notched his first victory over a player in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings (1-4 lifetime) after beating No. 8-ranked Dominic Thiem, the top seed, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in two hours and two minutes.
“It’s probably my best win,” said Evans. “It was a good match. I fought really hard to try and get the win and come out on top. I tried to come forward a bit more in the second set, so I played the first set sort of on his terms. I didn’t have much to lose… I believed I could win going out onto the court.”
Evans goes on to play World No. 48 Andrey Kuznetsov, who broke a 10-match losing streak in ATP World Tour quarter-final in defeating fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. Carreno Busta beat Kuznetsov last year in the Winston-Salem Open quarter-finals en route to his first tour-level trophy.
Sixth seed Gilles Muller advanced to the semi-finals for the third consecutive time. The Luxembourg native beat second seed Pablo Cuevas 7-6(5), 6-4. As is often the case, the left-handed Muller dominated with his serve, hitting 17 aces and taking 77 per cent of his first-serve points. He’ll face third seed and two-time defending champion Viktor Troicki in the semi-finals on Friday.
“(Troicki) hasn’t lost a match in Sydney in, like, forever,” said Muller. “He beat me in the semis two years ago. I know he’s a great player – he’s up there for a long time and it’s going to be a tough match. For me it’s the third year in a row for the semi-finals so I’d also like to get one stage further. I think I’d more happy with that than ending his winning streak.”
Troicki advanced when German Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew because of a back injury. The Serbian has a 15-3 record in Sydney and has won 10 consecutive main-draw matches in a row.
DOUBLES: Top seeds and defending champions Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares reached the semi-finals with ease, dismissing Germans Florian Mayer and Philipp Petzschner 6-3, 6-4 in 56 minutes. Later in the day, Dutchmen Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop saved two match points from a 7/9 deficit in the Match tie-break to defeat fourth seeds and 2015 finalists Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 7-6(4), 2-6, 11-9 in one hour and 37 minutes.