Dan Evans paying tribute to Jules Hoferlin after beating Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open
Evans had played brilliantly to dispatch the Australian 7-5, 7-6, 7-6. He was calm and controlled in front of the raucous and partisan Melbourne crowd; he was swift and agile about the court; and he was cunning, changing his tactics to attack Tomic in the second and third sets and take the fight to him. This was just the sort of performance Jules Hoferlin would have wanted to see from him.
Hoferlin worked with the LTA until 2014 and coached Evans in the Briton's younger, wilder days. When he quit his job and moved back to his home country of Belgium to work with the federation there, Hoferlin gave an interview in which he criticised his former charge for his lack of application.
He had plenty of evidence, too – just 18 months ago, when Hoferlin died of brain cancer, Evans' ranking was in the low 700s. Yesterday's win was Evans' way of proving he had changed.
"He did that interview at the end, in which he obviously wasn't that complimentary about me," Evans said. "I think he said it was an interlude into my life. Tennis, an interlude in my life. At the time he was probably right.
Evans shaking hands with Tomic after winning 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 to book his place in the fourth round
"I guess when you get a bit older, you look back at those sort of things. Quite a lot of people reminded me about Jules this week. It's obviously a shame he's not here. I'm sure he's watching somewhere there.
"I was getting myself together before he died, but I never got to see Jules again after he left the LTA pretty much. Those things sort of hit you. Those years I spent pretty much every day of my life with him, day in and day out, in my working life. So, yeah, it's difficult."
There is a new focus in Evans these days. His win over Marin Cilic, the world No7, on Wednesday was impressive but that was not enough for the man from Solihull; he is here to win as many matches as he can.
"Beating Cilic is obviously a one-off," he said. "I don't want that to be my final. Backing it up is a big thing. I did think today was a big opportunity, and I genuinely felt a bit of pressure that I should win that match."
The sexiest tennis outfits of all time
Tue, July 12, 2016
As Nike recalls their new tennis dress for being to revealing, we take a look at the sexiest tennis outfits of all time.
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The sexiest tennis outfits of all time
Four years ago, Tomic's father had said Evans was not good enough to practice with his son when the two were in Miami. A few months later, Evans showed Tomic Snr who was boss by beating his boy in the second round of the US Open. Coming into yesterday's match, Evans knew he could do it again.
"I just kept focused," he said. "I probably would have put myself down as favourite before I played that match."
The clothing manufacturers Uniqlo certainly think Evans is here to stay. A couple of days ago the word No51 admitted he no longer had a clothing sponsor and had been forced to buy his own kit for his stay in Melbourne. And much as the Uniqlo shirts he found were cheap at just Over £12, he did not think much of them after a wash or two. They shrink, apparently.
Uniqlo took the criticism on the chin and clearly bore no grudges. "The company actually sent quite a lot of shirts to the locker room today," Evans said.
"That was nice of them. There was no logo, so that was really nice of them as well. I've got quite a few now, and they're free!"
With his new shirts, his new focus and his form hitting new heights at just the right time, Evans will now attempt another giantkilling against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the world No12 and a seasoned campaigner at the business end of major tournaments.
There is a quarter-final place at stake but Evans is not concerned – it will be hard work but winning is not beyond the realms of possibility.
"It was a goal to make the fourth round of a Slam this year," he said. "It's satisfying [to do it]. But I'm not looking back yet. We've got another match on Sunday. It's going to be another step up.
"It's going to be a little different to be playing against him. We'll see what it's like.
"After the tournament, look back. Whatever happens, it's been a great tournament. But there's still some tennis to be played."