Daniel Evans won his second ATP Tour title on Sunday at the Mubadala Citi DC Open with a rain-interrupted victory against Tallon Griekspoor. The British 12th seed won his first ATP 500 crown — the biggest triumph of his career — with a 7-5, 6-3 result, fuelled by late surges in each set.
Now 2-2 in tour-level finals, the 33-year-old's Washington run lifted him nine places to No. 21 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, setting him up for a new career high. The first British man to contest the D.C. final since Andy Murray in 2006, Evans' victory made him the first Briton to win the title since Tim Henman in 2003.
Evans entered the event on a six-match losing streak at tour-level, but he won 10 straight sets on the American hard courts after losing the opener against Gregoire Barrere in the first round. He also knocked out second seed Frances Tiafoe and fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov on the way to the title.
"I wasn't playing very well and I wasn't happy with my game. To do the work I've done and to stick with it and come through is [amazing]," said Evans. "The last game sort of summed up my week. I got out of trouble and it was an amazing week. I really appreciate all the support."
In the final, Evans took his fourth break point of the opening set to win it 7-5, but his momentum was halted at 2-2 in the second set when rain and lightning suspended play for more than 90 minutes.
Asked how he kept his calm during the break, Evans credited his team and gave a glimpse into his camaraderie with his Dutch opponent: "Tallon was in the changing room as well, so it was quite light hearted. It was nice," he said.
When the players returned, the match continued to be played on the Briton's terms, despite Griekspoor's best efforts to dictate with big serves and forehands. Evans finished with 26 winners and just eight unforced errors, winning 16 of his 17 net points in the one-hour, 41-minute match.
He did not face a break point until he saved four in his final service game. Evans fought off one of the Dutchman's break chances with a daring backhand passing shot and clinched victory just before the skies opened again, later delivering his trophy speech under a light drizzle.
Griekspoor was bidding to become the fourth player to win a third tour-level title this season, alongside Carlos Alcaraz (6), Daniil Medvedev (5) and Novak Djokovic (3). Instead, the Pune and 's-Hertogenbosch champion remains one of six players with two singles trophies in 2023. Like Evans, he will also leave D.C. at a new high in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, at World No. 26.