By Jake Davies
- Dan Evans defeats Dominic Thiem 3-6 6-4 6-1
- The British No.3 earns the first Top 10 win of his career
- Evans now faces Andrey Kuznetsov in a bid to make his first ATP final
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Dan Evans battled past top seed Dominic Thiem coming fro a set down to make the semi-final, with his eyes firmly making his first ATP final.
Dan Evans defeats Dominic Thiem 3-6 6-4 6-1
British No.3 Dan Evans claimed the first Top 10 win of his career on Thursday in Sydney as he beat World No.8 Dominic Thiem in a three-set win. The match reflected two players with two very different game plans. Thiem was happy to patrol the baseline and stamp his authority on the match from deep behind the baseline, while Evans offered a very different strategy. Evans aimed to incorporate the variety that everyone knows he has in his game. He mixed the rallies up with his backhand slice and tried to force his way towards the net to disrupt the rhythm of the Austrian.
It is a monumental victory for Evans after coming so close to beating a Top 10 player in the 3rd round of last year’s US Open, where he held match point against Stan Wawrinka, who later went on to win the tournament. Performances like that are what helped build the confidence of Evans and reaffirmed that he was playing the right brand of tennis that could take him even further up the rankings.
With that win Evans currently sits at No.55 in the ATP rankings and will surpass his previous career-high ranking with a win against Andrey Kuznetsov in the Sydney Open semi-finals.
Dan Evans vs Andrey Kuznetsov H2H: Kuznetsov leads 1-0
Kuznetsov has a very different game to Evans’ previous opponent. Thiem throws everything into every groundstroke and you can feel the intensity of each shot he plays. In the case of Kuznetsov he produces flashes of brilliance. Sometimes he can create a spectacular winner from out of nowhere and other times he can miss the easiest of misses. It is hard to predict what is going to come from the racket of the Russian at times.
Kuznetsov actually holds the advantage in this particular head-to-head as he beat Evans at Wimbledon three years ago. The good thing for Evans is that there are a lot of frailties in the Russian’s game. His second serve is not a stable shot and can sit up on occasions in the service box. If Evans can find a way to make the Russian uncomfortable and under pressure on that particular shot then he can find a way to win this match and qualify for his first ATP final.
It is also worth mentioning that Kuznetsov has yet to make an ATP final in his career so far, so it is a real opportunity for both to compete for a first ATP title in the lead up to the first grand slam of the year. What a perfect way to start the season it would be for either man.
Prediction: Evans in a tight three sets
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