Dan Evans expressed his disappointment at being scheduled as the first match on Arthur Ashe on Friday, having played a gruelling four-setter against Lucas Pouille less than 24 hours earlier.
Rain had delayed Evans’ second-round meeting with Pouille and while he battled it out for three hours in the New York heat, his next opponent Roger Federer was able to sit with his feet up having got his match done under the roof on Wednesday.
The British No. 1 was well beaten by Federer, who Evans admitted played ‘no-error’ tennis, but bemoaned not being given a fair crack at the 20-time Grand Slam champion due to a lack of a break between his matches.
‘Obviously I didn’t play my best today, but he got on top of me early and it was difficult. I mean, I guess he has every shot, so it’s not ideal to have an opponent that has every shot,’ Evans said after the 6-2 6-2 6-1 loss in just an hour and 24 minutes.
‘I was fatigued, as well. Yeah. I thought it was pretty tough I was first up after playing yesterday, if I’m being brutally honest. Yeah, so it was a bit disappointing.
‘I didn’t feel – him being totally fresh and me, you know, battling yesterday, didn’t get out of here until probably going on 6pm, just complete polar opposites, isn’t it? And that is just to try and beat him feeling tired, stiff, playing four sets yesterday, it’s near on impossible.
‘But I actually thought he played pretty much, you know, no-error tennis, I thought.’
It was suggested to Evans that Federer had requested to be the first match on and he responded with a wry smile: ‘Well, if that is the case, then – well, yeah. It’s tough on me, isn’t it? But that wouldn’t be the first time the higher-ranked player has had pull, so to speak.
‘But also, these guys, the tournament obviously want Roger, would rather Roger be going through that match than me, so it’s understandable, yeah.
‘There is probably about four people in this tournament who has a say when they play. Maybe three. Yeah.
‘It was an honour to play on Ashe. It’s an amazing court. Yeah, but it was tough, like – yeah. I could feel from the get-go that I was a bit slow. Everything was a bit slower. You know, it’s another good experience at a slam, and, you know, that court is truly an amazing court.
‘I actually thought I was first on today because I had doubles. I actually asked the ATP guy and that wasn’t the case. I don’t know. You know, it would have been nice to be second or a night match, you know. But, you know, I’m not sure who plays Novak, but, you know, someone’s going to get the short straw and it was me.’
On court, Federer had acknowledged he had a ‘competitive advantage’.
‘Maybe Danny wasn’t feeling it quite today,’ he said. ‘He played yesterday so maybe that was a competitive advantage for me. I really enjoyed it out there today.’