Evans posts first tour-level clay win as he & Edmund advance in Barcelona
By Ros Satar
- Kyle Edmund def. Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-4
- Dan Evans def. Thiago Monteiro 6-7(4) 6-2 7-6(2)
BARCELONA, SPAIN – Dan Evans posted his first ATP World Tour level clay court win, following Kyle Edmund into the second round at ATP Barcelona.
Kyle Edmund def. Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-4
Edmund, who moved back up to the British No. 2 spot on Monday broke Chardy’s serve early, keeping hold of the advantage as Chardy gifted hm too many errors. It did take Edmund three set points to grab the first set, but he was quick to keep the momentum, breaking the Frenchman in the first game of the second set.
Edmund did have to battle hard to hold on to his serve as Chardy earned himself three break point chances to level, but his failure to convert seemed to seal the deal for the Brit.
He needed just the single match point for a confident win.
Edmund v Dominic Thiem 
For his effort, Edmund earns a crack at the tour’s habitual entrant Dominic Thiem. Often to the despair of pundits and observers alike, Thiem’s insistence to participate in any tournament (he has taken a wild-card into Istanbul the week before the Madrid and Rome Masters double-header) sees him now half way through a gruelling four-week stint ahead of the French Open.
The last time the pair met, the Austrian beat the Brit in the Roland Garros Juniors, so they are more than aware of each other’s clay court credentials. One thing is for sure – Thiem can test Edmund’s stamina. The Aggressive baseliner hits heavy groundstrokes, and Edmund will need to try and come in more to finish points – something he has admitted he needs to try to do more.
Neither are the most deft at the net so this could be a sapping encounter for the Brit, but the Austrian did not last long in Monte Carlo, going out in a tough three setter against David Goffin.
It might still be a big ask for Edmund, but this could be the lengthy battle he needs to start ti build him up on the Road to Roland Garros.
Prediction: Thiem in three sets.
Edmund and Thiem are scheduled on Pista Rafael Nadal at 11am (10am BST).
Dan Evans def. Thiago Monteiro 6-7(4) 6-2 7-6(2)
If we leave aside Dan Evans’ win in a dead rubber against Julien Bennetau (with the help of Nicolas Mahut and Yannick Noah), then this was the real clay match win that needs to count on his record.
Evans started with a sense of purpose, looking as though he was taking Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro to the cleaners as he jumped out to a 4-2 lead. His break advantage was eroded as Monteiro broke the Brit, serving to take the first set.
He continued to command in the eventual tie-break leaving Evans a set down after a sterling effort on a surface he has never made any pretence of being fond of.
For all that fight back from the Brazilian made a true mess of the second set, unable to capitalise on his early break in the first set as Evans broke twice before finishing off the set with a third.
The decider was an edgy affair, with Evans relinquishing a 4-0 lead and Monteiro eventually forcing a tie-break. But the Brummie is getting the hang of this clay lark, roaring through the tie-break to notch up a first tour-level win.
Evans v Mischa Zverev 
This might well match up to a be a contest of which of the clay-reluctants manages to hate the surface less. The resurgent Mischa Zverev can play on the stuff – back in his heyday he reached the quarter-finals in Rome, but as the years have advanced, he has preferred to play on the quicker hard courts.
His old style serve and volley has not served him well so far with first round exits in Marrakech and Monte Carlo and he benefits from a bye into the second round.
If Evans keeps up the tenacity he showed against Monteiro, this could be a winnable one for the Brit.
Prediction: Evans in three sets.
Evans and Zverev are scheduled on Pista 2 not before 5pm (4pm BST).
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