By Alessandro Mastroluca

  • Dan Evans def. Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-5 3-6 7-6(7)
  • Dan Evans v Andrey Rublev [6] | Rublev leads H2H 2-1
DUBAI, UAE – Dan Evans saved three match points to reach the quarter-finals in Dubai. He will meet Andrey Rublev trailing 2-1 in their head to head.

 

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Dan Evans def. Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-5 3-6 7-6(7)

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British No 1 Dan Evans saved three match points in the deciding set tie-break to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. He struck 17 aces against the elegant Frenchman and closed out with a forehand winner.

Back on court less than 24 hours after clinching his fourth Top 20 win over Fabio Fognini, Evans looked a little flat in the opening set. His fighting spirit and his efficient net-game helped him to come back and move to the quarter-finals.

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Dan Evans v Andrey Rublev [6] | Rublev leads H2H 2-1

He will meet No. 6 seed Andrey Rublev. The 2020 Doha and Adelaide champion, who was World No. 112 in the FedEX ATP rankings twelve months ago, is now at a career-high ranking of No. 14. The Russian avenged his defeat in Rotterdam and improved to 15-2 this season as he beat Filip Krajinovic 7-6(3) 6-0.

In the opening set, the Russian recovered from 1-4 down and saved one set point with Krajinovic serving at 5-3, 40-30. Rublev closed out the tie-break in style and cruised through a one-sided second set with the Serbian winning just 10 points.

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Rublev, who hit 32 winners over the Serbian, leads 2-1 in his head to head against the British No.1. Evans won their oldest meeting in 2016 in Dallas, the Russian took a straightforward victory in the semifinals of the Indian Wells Challenger last season and prevailed in their most recent encounter to reach the semifinals in Adelaide last January.

Evans looked mentally solid and hard to beat from the baseline. In the quarter-finals clash, Rublev will test his efficiency in return. Evans often struggles to return deeply when his opponents serve out-wide from the deuce side, and Rublev uses that strategy, in particular.

The Russian can be more explosive and shorten the rallies, on the other hand he can lack patience in building longer points. However, the quickness of the surface could give him an edge.

Prediction: Rublev in straight sets

 

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