By Alessandro Mastroluca
- Dan Evans def.. Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 7-5
- The Brit will meet Karen Khachanov for the first time
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands – Dan Evans served well and used his forehand to dominate the proceedings against German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber in his debut match in Rotterdam
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Dan Evans def. Philipp Kohlschreiber [Q] (GER) 6-3 7-5
British No.1 Daniel Evans, making his debut in Rotterdam, advanced to the second round beating German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 7-5. Evans lost five first-serve points against the 36-year-old qualifier playing the opening ATP 500 tournament of the season for the 12th time.
The World No.33 completed a break in each set to seal his seventh Tour-level victory of the season. He served eight aces and made only 11 unforced errors celebrating his 46th career win on hardcourt.
On a quick surface, Evans used his serves and forehands to dictate play against the former Rotterdam semifinalist. The conditions suited his game better than his opponent, often slower to react and ineffective when asked to counter-attack.
The Brit faced just one break-point and sealed 75% of his second-serve points, sealing two breaks from three looks. He won the first set in 36 minutes and produced his 50th win in 69 minutes after gaining a one-set lead in the ATP Tour. In the second set, he secured the crucial break to go 6-5 ahead and served to love clinching his second win in three meetings against Kohlschreiber at all levels.
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Dan Evans v Karen Khachanov | First Meeting
The Russian, now ranked at No.17, defeated the Italian No.2 for the second time in three meetings. He landed seven aces and converted four of his seven break points to improve his win-loss record to 7-3 this year. He was able to find his rhythm from the opening games, so he managed to cruise towards his maiden win in four appearances in Rotterdam.
The Brit will need to be explosive on serve and return, to use his sense of anticipation and creativity to open up the court and move the Russian outside of his comfort zone. Khachanov, a more than decent chess player, relies on his flat serve and his deep forehands to dictate play. He can express a complete and solid game, although he often lacks the self-confidence that needs to move out of his gameplan. On the quick surface in Rotterdam, Evans could force him to shorten his movements and force the Russian to hit more down the line backhands increasing his margins of errors. Above all, Evans can create an edge by forcing Khachanov towards the net. As most big hitters, the Russian feels more confident from the baseline. Evans will need his best game to win the mind games and seal a berth in the quarter-finals.
Prediction: Khachanov in three sets
Edmund and Khachanov are scheduled on Court 1, not before 5pm (4pm GMT).
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