• Dan Evans v Aljaz Bedene | H2H: Tied at 1-1 (Challenger level)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA – An intriguing clash between the current British No. 1 Dan Evans and the butt of his unkind comments during his time as a Brit, Aljaz Bedene.


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Dan Evans v Aljaz Bedene | H2H: Tied at 1-1 (Challenger level)

British No. 1 Dan Evans will take on the former British No. 2 Aljaz Bedene, who has now reverted back to Slovenian nationality.

There are few people who do not remember the tough spell that Bedene underwent as he successfully applied for and got his UK citizenship, but the ITF consistently refused to allow him to represent his new country.

But there are many who still remember Evans’ reaction back then regarding Bedene who became the British No. 2 behind Andy Murray, and at the time consistently spoke out against the level of support the LTA had given him in his bid to qualify for the Olympics as a Brit.

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Since then a lot has happened – Evans’ ban for possessing cocaine, Bedene’s crushing acceptance that the ITF would never allow him to represent Britain in Davis Cup and subsequently potentially the Olympics, and now with Evans’ ascendancy to the top spot in the British rankings, we will see how that translates in the match.

Match-wise, Evans snapped a five-match losing streak in tour matches since the restart and played well to reach the Antwerp semi-final last week, but his loss to Ugo Humbert from a set and four match-points up will have been a disappointment.

Both are solid aggressive baseliners, both move very well, and this is actually quite an evenly poised encounter, Bedene has a strong enough serve and backs it up capably with favouring his forehand.

Evans has the variety and arguably in recent years the better experience to earn his current ranking, while Bedene has bobbled around at his best just outside the World Top 40. On paper and with the Antwerp momentum, this should be Evans’ match to win.

Prediction: Evans in three sets.

Evans & Bedene are scheduled third on the Next Gen Court, not before 4pm (3pm GMT).


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