By Ros Satar

  • Dan Evans v Reilly Opelka
  • Cameron Norrie v Alexei Popyrin
ATLANTA, USA – With the Brit No. 2 spot possibly about to change hands, Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie are both in quarter-final action at the BBT Atlanta Open.

 

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Dan Evans v Reilly Opelka | First meeting

With live rankings putting Dan Evans now ahead of Cameron Norrie in terms of the British No. 2 spot, it is up to the Brit to handle man-mountain Reilly Opelka in the BBT Atlanta Open. With just a couple of spaces separating them in the rankings, Evans will be looking to capitalise on a solid grass court season and a good start to the US hard court season.

For Evans, the challenge will be to try and get on the end of the bombs Opelka sends down. The American took out fellow big server John Isner, in what was hardly the most entertaining of matches. So Evans’ task will be to certainly take care of his own serve, and try and make inroads into Opelka’s service games.

In reality it will most likely come down to holding his own serve, and then trying to come out on top of a resultant tie-break. Certainly Evans possess a lot more variety than Opelka who, not surprisingly, plays a game that revolves around a big serve and forehand. Evans will have to make do with precision more than battering the ball and try and get him on the run.

This is winnable but the feeling is this is going to come down to luck more than anything.

Prediction: Evans in three sets.

 

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Cameron Norrie v Alexei Popyrin | First meeting

Cameron Norrie in the first round of ATP Barcelona, Spain 2019

Cameron Norrie in the first round of ATP Barcelona, Spain 2019 | Jennifer Knapp

Defending semi-final points and with Evans nipping at his heels, Norrie has had a decent run this week, and is looking to equal his semi-final run against Aussie, Alexei Popyrin. A tall and rangy Aussie, he has a long wingspan that can cover a lot of ground, and can move well – handy at coming to the net to finish off his points and has started to develop a decent all-court game.

He enjoyed a run to the third round of the Australian Open, and at a time when perhaps the Aussies are looking for more heroes to brush over the nonsense coming from their pantomime villains, Popyrin is probably well worth a watch.

Norrie has all the experience to get him through this and indeed has had a tougher time this tournament than the Aussie, taken to three sets in his opener. This might be another tough battle for the Brit all-rounder who can do a little bit of everything.

Prediction: Norrie in three sets.

Opelka and Evans are scheduled on Stadium Court not before 2pm (7pm BST) followed by Norrie and Popyrin, not before 3:30pm (8:30pm BST).

 

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