By Ros Satar
- Dan Evans  v Bernard Tomic | Evans leads H2H 3-1 (incl. Davis Cup)
- Kyle Edmund’s woes continue as he tumbles out of Antwerp’s qualifying first round
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – Newly crowned British No. 1 Dan Evans starts his Stockholm debut, but Kyle Edmund has a less than victorious return to Antwerp.
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Dan Evans  v Bernard Tomic | Evans leads H2H 3-1 (incl. Davis Cup)
As new British No. 1 Dan Evans reunites with former coach Mark Hilton (who had been working with Kyle Edmund) , it looks like stars are aligning for the Brummie as he looks to end his season on a high. Just a couple of spots away from his previous career high of No. 41 in the world, he makes his debut here and could well finish the year with a new career high as he has Basel and then qualifying in Paris for the last tour event of the year.
First up for him is troublesome Aussie Bernard Tomic. The most notable win for Evans was at the US Open in 2013 when Evans came through qualifying to teach the third round. Despite losing to him in Davis Cup, Evans has been able to get the better of him twice more and with Tomic having slumped to almost out of the Top 200, Evans will have to feel confident of his chances of a winning start.
What he can expect is Tomic’s unique style of play – he changes up the pace and can slice and drop-shot and comes up with all kinds of loopy shots you would not normally get a look at. Evans may not be the most powerful player, and despite Tomic’s more imposing presence, he does not necessarily come at his opponents with heavy serves and groundstrokes. Evans has a lot more variety and good movement around the court, but often their matches have been long ones.
Prediction: Evans in three sets.
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Edmund’s Antwerp defence ends in first round of qualifying
Edmund’s miserable end to the season surely must be quickening up, after he was edged in the first round of qualifying in three sets by Norbert Gombos 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3. After parting company with Hilton (at Hilton’s suggestion), Edmund wisely opted for a qualifying wildcard having previously not opted to defend his maiden title.
It was not as though Edmund had no chances – he was the first to have a chance to break in the first set before Gombos actually took the advantage. Edmund saved a breakpoint at the start of the second set and held his nerve in a tense tie-break to level the match. The pair traded breaks at the start of te second set, but Gombos was able to outlast the Brit with a crucial break at the end of the set before serving out for the match, dumping the defending champion out.
It is hard to know where Edmund goes from here. He is scheduled to play Vienna and Paris, before the Davis Cup Finals at the end of the year. Perhaps being back within a team environment, might help bring his confidence up but above all he needs to settle with a new coach to give him some stability and reset in the off-season.
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