British qualifier Dan Evans knocks out 11th seed

Daniel Evans, of Great Britain, reacts after beating Kei Nishikori of Japan during the first round of the 2013 US Open tennis tournament. Picture: Kathy Kmonicek (AP)
Daniel Evans, of Great Britain, reacts after beating Kei Nishikori of Japan during the first round of the 2013 US Open tennis tournament. Picture: Kathy Kmonicek (AP)
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Dan Evans has his sights set on more US Open heroics after producing the result of the first day in New York.

It is safe to say not many of the fans at Flushing Meadows would have ever heard of the 23-year-old from Birmingham.

Evans, ranked 179th in the world, achieved his biggest career highlights in Group I of the Europe/Africa Zone in Davis Cup, where he has helped Britain beat Slovakia and Russia over the last two seasons.

But he put his name firmly on the map with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win against 11th seed Kei Nishkori – the first British man other than Andy Murray, Tim Henman or Greg Rusedski to beat a top-15 player at a grand slam for more than 20 years.

Three days after qualifying at a slam for the first time, Evans posted his first ever main draw win, and guaranteed himself prize money of around £34,000 – a quarter of everything he has won in his career.

In the second round he faces Australia’s Bernard Tomic, in what should a very attractive clash between two players who have something of a bad-boy reputation.

Evans is on a run of 12 wins from 14 matches and he has a cockiness about him that serves him well on the big stage.

He said: “I knew I was a good player, but I just hadn’t put it all together. I was pretty calm. It wasn’t that much of a big deal what was happening on the court. I wasn’t nervous.

I played another good match. I’ve played some good matches for the last five weeks. I really want to go far in the tournament, win a few more matches. I’m ready to play again.”

It was a perfect opening day for Britain’s Laura Robson, seeded 30th, as she allayed fears over a wrist injury with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Lourdes Dominguez Lino. A right wrist problem had seen Robson miss the last three tournaments but she played intelligently against a woman she had lost to in both their previous meetings and next meets fellow 19-year-old Caroline Garcia from France.

Heather Watson will hope to keep up Britain’s winning start but in many ways she has an even tougher task than Evans against 21st seed Simona Halep.

The Romanian is on a real hot streak, winning four of her last seven tournaments, most recently in New Haven at the weekend with back-to-back wins over Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova.

Andy Murray does not play until tomorrow.