Evans no banana skin for Russian
A hungry Andrey Rublev has cashed in on his opponent’s generosity, with a banana from Britain’s Dan Evans powering the fifth seed into the Australian Open fourth round.
Rublev gave up a miserly nine games in his straight-sets win, the Russian delivering a ruthless 6-4 6-2 6-3 victory that left world No 30 Evans scratching for answers yesterday.
The 25-year-old will face the winner of the clash between Danish ninth seed Holger Rune and Frenchman Ugo Humbert for a place in the quarterfinals.
Mid-match Evans showed his class when he gave Rublev one of his bananas — but he may have regretted such generosity.
‘‘I asked the ball boy for a banana but Danny asked for bananas earlier and he had two so he threw me one,’’ a smiling Rublev said.
‘‘He helped me with some energy for sure — I win an extra two games because I eat the banana.’’
Balancing touch and finesse with some power hitting, Rublev hit 60 winners to 20 from Evans in the clinical 2hr 9min performance that also included 10 aces.
He has never gone further than the last eight at any major.
‘‘I’m happy that since the first match here I’m playing good.’’