- Dan Evans def. Karen Khachanov  3-6 7-6(7) 6-4
- Evans v Ugo Humbert | H2H: Evans leads 1-0 (Challenger level)
ANTWERP, BELGIUM – Dan Evans came through a vocal and feisty match to down Karen Khachanov and will face Ugo Humbert in the European Open semi-final.
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Dan Evans def. Karen Khachanov  3-6 7-6(7) 6-4
Khachanov seemed to be very much in the driving seat, breaking Evans after a lengthy game where the Brit had failed to convert on the three break point chances that had presented themselves to him. Khachanov took the first set and proceeded to break the Brit in the first game of the second set and at 4-2 it looked like it was a fait accompli for the Russian.
Evans patience and shot-making drew errors as Khachanov became more and more frustrated with line-calls and once Evans had a chance to get back into the match, he took it, breaking the Russian and forcing a tie-break.
He saved a match point and as Khachanov unravelled, he took the set and forced a decider. This time it was Evans who broke at the start of the set and it was all the advantage he needed to take the match.
As reported in ATPTour.com, he said after the match: “It is nice to play these guys and it is why you play the sport, to play the better players. I am pretty clear on how I have to play to beat them and that is what I do. I try and execute that plan and I have done that pretty good against the better guys.”
Evans v Ugo Humbert | H2H: Evans leads 1-0 (Challenger level)
Up next for the Brit is Ugo Humbert who will play in his third semi-final of the season, as he came through his quarter-final with a straight-sets win over Lloyd Harris. Humbert has been able to go one better than Evans and won his maiden ATP Tour title in Auckland at the start of the year.
The Frenchman has been advancing steadily through the ranks, although he did lose to Evans in the Quimper Challenger last year. He plays offensively and is certainly not afraid to come forward to polish things off with a volley.
Over this time he feels that his mental strength has improved and he certainly doesn’t show it if he feels overawed by the higher-ranked players.
Evans has the variety to match him and should feel buoyed by coming through that feisty argumentative affair. Evans made the Dubai semi-final before the world shut down for coronavirus and kept himself busy in the Battle of the Brits.
His immediate return might not have been that great, but he is gathering speed as the end of the season approaches. This could be another long one for the Brit, but certainly is winnable if he can keep up this momentum.
Prediction: Evans in three sets.
Evans & Humbert are scheduled on Centre Court, not before 3:30pm (2:30pm BST).
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