Roger Federer compares Dan Evans to himself after impressing in Australian Open 2nd Round

TENNIS-AUS-OPEN

The British Isles are still getting over the announcement of Andy Murray's retirement plans with The Scot hoping to play through the pain until Wimbledon in June.

However, the former two-time champion of the All England Club has admitted that the Australian Open could be his last tournament.

And with his valiant effort in the 1st round against Roberto Bautista-Agut resulting in a five-set defeat, we may have seen Murray on a tennis court for the last time.

With this in mind, fans are being forced to look elsewhere for a British male to support.

Johanna Konta has made progress in the women's game, reaching as high as number four in the world and scraping through her first round encounter in Australia.

But on the men's side things are looking rather bleak.

Kyle Edmund looked to be Murray's successor after an impressive run of results saw him beat the likes of Grigor Dimitrov, Novak Djokovic and even Murray himself.

But injury problems have recently stifled Edmund's growth and he was comfortably beaten at the first hurdle by veteran and former grand-slam finalist Tomas Berdych.

2019 Australian Open - Day 1

One man who did manage to get through was Dan Evans, a former top 50 player who has frustrated many due to having unbridled potential that has been unfulfilled due to some poor life choices.

Evans had to go through three stages of qualifying before entering the main draw of the Aussie Open and beat Japan's Tetsuma Ito in the first round.

His reward for his efforts? A second-round tie with the greatest player to pick up a tennis racket, Roger Federer.

TENNIS-AUS-OPEN

Evans was not overawed by the occasion and battled Federer to three close sets (7-6, 7-6, 6-3), unfortunately this is Federer we are talking about, so despite the Brit's admirable effort he did not quite have the quality to overcome the 20-time grand slam champion.

However, his impressionable style of play certainly caught the eye of the Swiss who quite possibly paid Evans the greatest compliment he could.

"I couldn't pull away early in the match - it helps when you can sneak in a quick break," said Federer in the post-match press conference.

"He played very well. It was hard to pull away, to his credit. I thought I played well.

"It felt like playing in a mirror a little bit. That was the mindset I had - how would I play myself potentially," the Swiss said.

2019 Australian Open - Day 3

Federer also seemed surprised when a journalist revealed Evans' ranking, which is currently 189 - largely due to Evans coming back from a year-long ban due to Cocaine use.

"I didn't even know his ranking, for me, he is a top 100 player," Federer said.

"Can you stay injury free and be there for the crucial moments? That is key.

"I think he gets into the top 50, no problem."

Well, Evans certainly has a fan in Federer, it is whether Evans himself has the belief that he can return to near the top of the sport.

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