Dan Evans is overpowered by Andrey Rublev who advances to the fourth round of the Australian Open

Britain’s No. 2 Dan Evans tumbles in straight sets from the Australian Open while Russia’s world No. 6 Andrey Rublev advances to the fourth round in Melbourne after a dominant win

Dan Evans shared his tuck box on the court with world number six Andrey Rublev, who promptly threw him out of the Australian Open in straight sets as thanks.

In the first set of a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 loss, Evans tossed the Russian one of his bananas during the substitution after Rublev was without his favorite energy food.

The act of generosity came after the favorite defended a break point. From then on he bludgeoned the British number two into submission.

Andrey Rublev has advanced to the fourth round of the US Open with a win in straight sets

Andrey Rublev has advanced to the fourth round of the US Open with a win in straight sets

“He certainly helped me with some energy. I won two extra games because I ate a banana,” a smiling Rublev later said after earning a fourth-round win over the towering Danish teenager Holger Rune.

“I like him a lot so I shared with him. They only released two, so I donated one,” said Evans, whose hand dexterity ultimately wasn’t enough to defuse his opponent’s explosive power.

He had started brilliantly but Rublev would have had to explode given his delicate slices to make it a close fight.

The British No. 2 struggled to keep up with his opponent who put on a very impressive performance

The British No. 2 struggled to keep up with his opponent who put on a very impressive performance

The 32-year-old Midlander pondered how to tackle the nightmare journey to opposite hosts Bogota, Colombia, where Britain play their Davis Cup qualifiers late next week.

Evans will likely make the approximately 30-hour journey direct from Australia to one of the highest locations where professional tennis is played, at the ski resort’s dizzying 2,500 meters. The surface is clay and the balls are pressureless.

“I’m terrible on Skyscanner, but I checked a while ago when making decisions,” Evans said. “I’m not going home. It’s just too much.

Rublev celebrates reaching the last 16 at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park

Rublev celebrates reaching the last 16 at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park

Rublev and Evans shake hands at the net after the fight, which the Russian won comfortably in the end

Rublev and Evans shake hands at the net after the fight, which the Russian won comfortably in the end

“I played at height in Guadalajara (Mexico) and I was trash. Then I asked someone: “Is that similar? And they said, ‘No, that’s hardly anything compared to there (Bogota)’. Well, I mean, God knows. It’s an experience I think.

“I think it’s important that the best players come out there and represent their country, but it’s the worst possible draw. It’s miles away and their whole team is pretty good in these conditions.”

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Maureen Mackey

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