• Cameron Norrie v Taylor Fritz [8]
  • Dan Evans v Stan Wawrinka [5]
PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – After early exits at Roland Garros British No.1 Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie are back in action at the St. Petersburg Open.

 

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Cameron Norrie v Taylor Fritz [8] | H2H Tied at 2-2

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With a handful of tournaments now to close out the strangest of seasons, Cameron Norrie will look to put a disappointing Roland Garros exit behind him with a chance to edge ahead in the lead over Taylor Fritz.

In their most encounter at Delray Beach, shortly before lockdown, drew level in their head to head, and during the Battle of the Brits it was clear that Norrie had really worked on his movement to add to a generally consistent game.

Norrie can do a little bit of everything well, but against a powerful server like Fritz, he will need to be returning sharply and looking to disrupt Fritz’s ability to hit sharp cross-court angles from both wings.

The key will be to throw in a lot of variety and their last three encounters have all gone the distance. But Norrie is in need of a bit of confidence having only won one of his last five matches. To be fair Fritz has hardly done better, winning two out of his last five but indoors could favour his high speed serve.

Prediction: Fritz in three sets.

 

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Late in the afternoon, Dan Evans will take on Stan Wawrinka and it is a tough ask for the British No. 1 to play against Wawrinka who has had a lot of time to get himself in solid form. However, the Swiss came unstuck far earlier than expected at Roland Garros, having focussed on the clay since the restart.

For Evans, the less we talk about the dirt the better. It was never his best surface and back indoors on a hard court could at least help even out the odds – a little. Memorably he had Wawrinka on the ropes in their first encounter at the 2016 US Open in a tense five-setter, and they went the distance the second time with Evans pushing him close once more at Indian Wells last year.

However, Wawrinka made swift work of him a little later on in the year at Queen’s Club, so what can Evans do to redress the balance? He was in his element during the first edition of the Battle of the Brits and looked to have worked very hard on his fitness, and his variety and lightness of touch will be key.

Wawrinka is one of the best offensive base-liners on the tour and his single-handed backhand packs a punch – and while Evans also possesses a single handed backhand, you would have to give the edge to Wawrinka.

Evans will need to jink about and pull Wawrinka off his baseline to stand a chance of taking the fight to the No. 5 seed.

Prediction: Wawrinka in three sets.

Norrie & Fritz are scheduled on Court One at 2pm (12pm BST), Evans & Wawrinka are scheduled on Centre Court, not before 6:30pm (4:30pm BST).

 

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