• Dan Evans def. Jurij Rodionov [WC] 7-5, 6-3
  • Evans v Grigor Dimitrov
  • H2H: Dimitrov leads 3-1
VIENNA, AUSTRIA – Dan Evans faces Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-final of the Erste Bank Open, as he looks to make a second semi-final in as many weeks.

 

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Dan Evans def. Jurij Rodionov [WC] 7-5, 6-3

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British No. 1 Dan Evans had to overcome a sluggish start against the Austrian wildcard Jurij Rodionov to book his spot in the Erste Bank Open quarter-final.

Rodionov had already claimed the scalp of Denis Shapovalov on his main draw debut, and stole a quick march on the Brit, breaking him in the first game. Eventually Evans did settle, breaking back, but Rodionov always looked to be threatening throughout the set, pulling up more break point chances and saving three set points before Evans broke one more time to seal the first set.

It was a very spirited performance by the young Austrian, who was the first to break in the second set, but this time Evans’ comeback was immediate and followed it up with a second break. Rodionov had two chances to break Evans as he served for the match, but in the end experience won out, as Evans advanced in straight sets.

 

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Evans v Grigor Dimitrov | H2H: Dimitrov leads 3-1

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In his second quarter-final in as many weeks, Evans faces another tough battle, this time against Grigor Dimitrov. Evans pulled off a feisty come-back against Karen Khachanov at the same stage last week and will need to prepare to dig deep if he wants to make another semi-final.

Despite being top dog at the Battle of the Brits as the country was easing itself out of lockdown, his tour restart has been a touch faltering, but on the indoor court circuit he seems to have caught fire a little.

Over the net will be Dimitrov – who was part of Novak Djokovic’s ill-fated Adria tour and contracted coronavirus. He has spoken publicly about the effect the virus had on him. His time in the US saw him looking fatigued as he made his return, but back on European clay we saw an uptick in his performances and he also made the semi-finals in Antwerp.

Dimitrov has often been labelled as part of the ‘Lost Boys’ generation – the chasing pack that never quite got a foothold against the Big Three, but he has continued to impress with a solid all-court game, and we could be up for a battle of the single-handed backhands. His stamina and fitness look to have returned and Evans can ill-afford the sluggish start he had against Rodionov.

Evans has the variety to make a match of this, and their last encounter at the ATP Cup was a three setter. He can certainly make this a battle.

Prediction: Dimitrov in three sets.

 

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