- Dan Evans v Salvatore Caruso [Q] | H2H: Evans leads 1-0 (Challenger)
- Cameron Norrie v Emil Ruusuvuori [Q] | First Meeting
- Yoshihito Nishioka def. Kyle Edmund 6-4 6-0
ANTWERP & COLOGNE – Dan Evans & Cameron Norrie are next to fly the flag this week, while Kyle Edmund hits a 4-match losing streak against a dynamic Yoshihito Nishioka.
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Dan Evans v Salvatore Caruso [Q]
Both the Brits in action this week have drawn qualifiers in their opening rounds, and it is the British No. 1 Dan Evans who opens proceedings on Centre Court against Salvatore Caruso. It has been four years since the last met in a Challenger event, where Evans had the upper hand, and must go into this match a firm favourite.
Evans might have been a stalwart of the Battle of the Brits events held as lockdown started to ease, but since the restart, it has felt like a bit of a rocky road, with just two wins and currently on a 5-match spin of losses.
However, his experience and variety should be too much for his opponent who has maybe picked up a little more success on the Challenger clay court events but has come through two matches indoors at Antwerp for his switch of surfaces.
Prediction: Evans in straight sets.
Cameron Norrie v Emil Ruusuvuori [Q] | First Meeting
British No. 3 Cameron Norrie starts his Antwerp campaign, meeting promising Fin Emil Ruusuvuori in his opener. The Fin has already come through qualifying and Norrie strung together his best run of results yet, reaching the Saint Petersburg quarter-final – his first of the season.
Norrie looked to be in particularly good shape over the summer as domestic competitions helped to ease players back into competition as lockdown eased. He got some good matches under his belt in the Battle of the Brits competitions, and won one of the British Tour events, and made the third round of the US Open, as well as is run in St Petersburg, so that hard work has paid off.
Ruusuvuori plays perhaps a similar game, and looks to be aggressive from the baseline, although Norrie’s movement has improved, and he would do well to try and yank the Fin off the baseline and draw him in. He tends to linger and avoid coming in unless he is coming in for a ball dropped very short.
The Fin has a capable serve which could get him a few points over the Brit and follows it up with a flat and powerful forehand – his danger shot, so Norrie would be better to pepper the slightly weaker backhand.
Experience can count for a lot, as well as confidence here.
Prediction: Norrie in straight sets.
Yoshihito Nishioka def. Kyle Edmund 6-4 6-0
After the tentative display last week in the first iteration of the Cologne tournament, it looked as though there was a little more pep to Kyle Edmund at the start of the match as he tested Yoshihito Nishioka to the tune of seven break points in just the second game, but would come to rue those missed opportunities, as the Japanese player’s defence was rock solid throughout the match.
He was the first to break, and from there Edmund could not find a way through at all, as the unforced errors started to rack up. He managed to save one set point, and again had chances to break bringing his tally to 11 points going begging alone in the first set.
The second set compounded the woes for the Brit, as Nishioka broke him immediately and bagelled Edmund to bring him to a four-match losing streak.
Evans and Norrie start on Centre Court and Court 1 respectively at 12:30pm (11:30am BST).
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