Evans' Open win inspired by Ponting book

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British No.1 Dan Evans has revealed reading Ricky Ponting's autobiography helped him beat Australian Alexei Popyrin to reach the fourth-round of the US Open.

Evans had to show all the fighting spirit the former Australian cricket captain was renowned for as he came from two sets down to beat Ponting's compatriot Popyrin 4-6 3-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-1).

It has been a tough couple of months for Evans after a debilitating bout of coronavirus forced him to miss the Olympics and left him struggling physically.

But the No.24 seed backed up battling wins over Thiago Monteiro and Marcos Giron to make the second week at a grand slam for just the second time in his career.

The 31-year-old revealed Ponting's autobiography served as motivation during his trip to the United States.

"There's probably a bit of irony in this," said Evans. "I started reading Ricky Ponting's book at the start of this trip. I wasn't feeling great. It's been pretty inspirational, motivational.

"I took a few things from that. He had some pretty tough times when he was captain. That's the reason why I took to the book, because I'd been told about it.

"I've looked to learn a bit along the trip. I've got to know probably a bit more about myself. I'm never that far away from getting to a decent level. But I have to be patient. It was not easy by any stretch of imagination.

"I was low on confidence. I think from his book, back yourself. He writes a lot down the night before on what he wanted to do, how he wanted to go out the next day. Really reminded himself what he needs to do.

"I think just especially with the way I play, if you're forgetting certain things, which when I haven't played for a while I obviously did, how I can be effective. (He's) a really tough character, really helped.

"In best-of-five sets, being tough is one of the main things you need to be, hanging in.

"It's obviously a very different game, but I just enjoyed it. I took some things which I'll probably use now for the rest of my career."

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