$15 shirt man Evans hoping for new kit deal
Britain’s Dan Evans said he was hoping to find a new kit sponsor after he reached the Australian Open third round wearing a Aus$20 ($15) shirt he bought in a Melbourne shop.
Evans revealed his shopping trip after he shocked world number seven Marin Cilic to equal his best Grand Slam performance and set up a tantalising match with Bernard Tomic.
“I’m just out of contract with Nike. They didn’t offer me another contract. I just went to the store and bought a load of clothes the other day, plain clothes,” Evans said.
“Aus$19.99, the shirts are,” he said, adding that he “didn’t look” how much his shorts cost.
“I was more worried about the shirts.”
Evans’ kit contract lapsed in December, despite a breakthrough season for a player who once had a reputation for too much partying.
Evans, 26, broke into the top 100 — from 772 a year earlier — and he now sits at a career-high of 51, after reaching his first ATP Tour final this month in Sydney.
Wednesday’s victory over Cilic was only his second against a top-10 player after he defeated Austria’s Dominic Thiem, ranked eight, in the Sydney quarter-finals.
But Evans’ profile remains low. After beating Cilic, he revealed that ex-England cricketer Kevin Pietersen had snubbed his request for a selfie when he saw him in Melbourne.
He said he had recovered from “dark times” at the tail-end of last season, after he failed to convert a match point against eventual winner Stan Wawrinka at the US Open and then suffered a series of disappointing defeats.
Friday’s match-up with Australia’s Tomic has an edge to it after an incident in 2012, when Tomic’s father refused to let Evans practice with his son, saying he wasn’t good enough.
Evans subsequently beat Tomic at the US Open a year later, although both players insist they are now good friends.
“I don’t know honestly what happened there,” Tomic said of the bust-up in 2012. “But me and Daniel Evans are good friends and I respect him.”
World number one Andy Murray said Evans had been working hard and deserved his success.
“People mature at a different age and find what’s important for them at different ages. I think now he’s pretty focused on his tennis,” said the Scot.
“With the right people around him, he’s doing really well. I’m really happy for him because he’s a nice, nice guy. He’s talented, he does work hard, he competes well. He deserves it.”