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Kecmanovic Saves 6 Match Points To Stun Evans

Serbian to face Tiafoe in quarter-finals

Miomir Kecmanovic saved six match points in a single game — including one with a tweener — to stay alive against Daniel Evans, then used his new life to capture a stirring victory on Thursday in Tokyo.

In a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4) win, the Serbian trailed 0/40 with Evans serving at 5-4 in the third set. With his back firmly against the wall, he produced a series of stunning winners to break in a four-deuce game, the longest of the match. Kecmanovic then saw a match point of his own go begging on return at 6-5, before closing out the tie-break by winning its final four points.

"That was the first time that I was able to do that," Kecmanovic said of his match-point saves. "I was completely tuned out of the match and I just went for it in that moment."

The Serbian revealed that the tweener he hit, down match point at Ad-in, was the first time he was able to pull off the circus shot. After tracking down a lob and roping the tweener to force Evans into a difficult volley, Kecmanovic forced a volley error as he powered a backhand at the eighth seed.

"It was amazing, It's the first time I ever made that shot in a match," he said. "I'm beyond happy that I was able to do it."

After winning the opening set with a single break, Kecmanovic broke first in both the second and third sets before Evans turned the tables to lead. From 1-4 in the third, Evans won four straight games to bring up an opportunity to serve for the match, ultimately falling one point short in agonising fashion.

"I had a lot of ups and downs, especially in the third set, being up 4-1," Kecmanovic reflected. "Somehow I managed to stay in, and thankfully I'm still here."

Through to his eighth quarter-final of 2022, the Serbian will next face fourth seed Frances Tiafoe, who defeated Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-1, 7-6(7) in the day's opening match in the Ariake Colosseum.

Photo Credit: Hiroshi Sato