Dan Evans has been discussing his upcoming second round tie with Roger Federer in Doha and says he's going to enjoy the occasion.
Federer is making a long-awaited comeback to tennis after being forced to take over a year out of the sport due to a recurring knee injury which required two surgeries.
The Swiss ace received a bye in the first round in Qatar and knows that the eyes of the tennis world, both media and fans, will be watching to see if he can reach anything close to his previous best at the age of 39.
He will face British Dan Evans, who beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in his first round match, and the two men are very familiar with each other's game, having been practice partners for the last few weeks.
Evans says practising with Federer will help him tomorrow, and he's hoping its a chance to play some good tennis and trouble him but admits that it's very different when you get on a match court.
"We obviously practised for [the] past two weeks [in Dubai], and I thought he was playing pretty well. We played plenty of sets. It was competitive. But it's all very different when you get on the match court,” Evans told ATPtour.com.
“It will be a lot different tomorrow. It's going to be at night, as well, so a little slower. So we'll see how the match goes.
“It’s obvious to say he works hard. Some days we practised for three hours. Other days we practised for an hour and a half. It's been just like most tennis players, really,” Evans said.
“Obviously the level is a lot higher than most, but it's been good to get some good practise in.
“It’s more the variation. You're not sure what's going to come next, different spins, different pace. You definitely sometimes second-guess yourself. He obviously moves very well. So that would be the biggest thing.
“I feel like I deal with variation pretty well, and I do feel a bit flustered when practising different things [against him]. I'm sure for the more robotic players out there it's not ideal with a hell of a lot of variation he's got.
“I think it's tougher for me by a long stretch. But no, it has been nice to see his game. Obviously it does help I have been able to see it, but it's still going to be a difficult task.
“He looked fit when I practised with him. If he's fully fit, it's definitely going to be tough. As well, I should enjoy the occasion.
“I’d say I'm definitely a lot better now [than when we last played at the 2019 US Open]. I feel more comfortable. In that sense, obviously he's not played so much. It will be a little different for him tomorrow, as well.
"Probably my better chance to get some good tennis out there and trouble him.
“I'll go out there and enjoy it and see what happens. There's no drama if it goes wrong tomorrow. If I win, it would be great.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?