British number three Dan Evans believes he has come through a difficult period in his career after beating world number seven Marin Cilic at the Australian Open.
The 26-year-old caused a massive upset to beat the former US Open champion 3-6 7-5 6-3 6-3 and reach the third round.
It comes after a struggle at the end of 2016 following a heartbreaking defeat by Stan Wawrinka at the US Open.
“There were some tough times after the Wawrinka match,” he said.
“I still think about that match on the court today. It’s not easy when you had the opportunity to sort of close out the big match and then lose.
“Yeah, I’m happy it happened. But, you know, hopefully there will be no more dark times, as you put it.”
World number 51 Evans squandered a match point in the fourth set of his third-round match with two-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka in September.
He was devastated afterwards and went on to finish the year with three defeats from four matches – all against lower-ranked opposition.
But he is now into the third round of a Grand Slam for only the fourth time of his career – and the first time in Melbourne.
No kit? No problem
Evans said the victory over Cilic was the “biggest” of his career as he joined compatriot Andy Murray in the third round.
He did it wearing shirts and shorts bought from a shop after his kit deal with Nike expired in December and was not renewed by the sports clothing company.
“I just went to the store and bought a load of clothes the other day, plain clothes,” he said.
“What was it, Sunday? Sunday or Saturday, yeah. £19.99, the shirts are.
“I think I bought about 18 shirts, something like that. I went back this morning to buy some more. They’re not the best quality, to sweat in and wash.
“I only wore one shirt today. I’m good until Friday.”
A renewed rivalry with Tomic
Evans will face Australian Tomic in the last 32, a man he beat in four sets in the second round of the 2013 US Open.
It was a win the Birmingham player enjoyed, after the world number 27’s father suggested he was not good enough to have a practice hit with his son.
“I’m not going to bother saying anything about that again. He confronted me about that. We’ll leave it at that,” he said on Wednesday.
“I’d say it’s a 50-50 match. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to playing him.”