Tennis: British battler Evans downs local Tomic to reach last 16

Dan Evans (above) beat Bernard Tomic 7-5, 7-6(7-2), 7-6(7-3).
Dan Evans (above) beat Bernard Tomic 7-5, 7-6(7-2), 7-6(7-3). PHOTO: AFP

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Dan Evans continued his fairy-tale run at Melbourne Park by downing local and world No. 27 Bernard Tomic 7-5, 7-6(7-2), 7-6(7-3) on Friday to give Britain two men in the last 16 of the Australian Open for the first time in 16 years.

The 26-year-old, who upset seventh seed Marin Cilic in the second round, prevailed at the end of a thrilling 2hr 48min battle in a highly-charged atmosphere on Hisense Arena to end Australia's interest in the men's singles draw.

Evans refused to play on and insisted the stadium roof be closed when rain started falling on the court late in the third set but recovered his composure to win the tie-break and set up a meeting with France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

World No. 1 Andy Murray's 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over Sam Querrey preceded Evans's match on the same court, ensuring a double British presence in the fourth round for the first time since Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski in 2001.