• Dan Evans v Andy Murray in the Battle of the Brits semi-final
  • First career meeting
  • Kyle Edmund will face Cameron Norrie in the other semi-final
LONDON, UK – Schroders Battle of the Brits is getting to the business end as Andy Murray’s come-back see him face current No. 1 Dan Evans in the semi-final.

 

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Andy Murray v Dan Evans | First Meeting

Dan Evans on Day 3 of the Schroders Battle of the Brits in London, England

Dan Evans on Day 3 of the Schroders Battle of the Brits in London, England (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Battle Of The Brits)

It is no exaggeration to say that all eyes have been on the returning former World No. 1 Andy Murray. From the highs of watching him coming back from the hip resurfacing operation to win the Antwerp title, only for that optimism to fizzle out watching him struggle during the first Davis Cup Finals match and play no more part in the tournament.

His tour come-back continued to be delayed, and just when it looked as though he was about to set foot on a court again in Miami – COVID-19 shut the global tennis down.

In that time Dan Evans looked to be struggling with the No. 1 mantle in Madrid, but has most certainly grown into the role, and this week has looked very part the leader of the British pack.

Murray has improved as his matches have gone on, albeit in as gruelling a fashion as only he can. Evans looked imperious in his first two rounds, but was pushed the distance in his last match, and with both singles and doubles under his belt, perhaps the match play as catching up with him.

The banter levels in the tournament WhatsApp group had been legendary with Evans being credited as being one of the more vocal members, but even given that Murray’s expectations of himself has been low, Evans knows better than to underestimate him.

He said, after his victory on Thursday: “There’s always more to beating Andy than tennis. You always think how good he was. It’s a difficult match but I’ll have to deal with that.”

There is no doubt that coming int this encounter, Evans has to be seen as the favourite, and even Murray would not argue that, but while he has felt his hip during the week, it does not seem to have affected his movement, and he still has high hopes.

He said, after reaching the semi-final on Thursday: “My hope is that in a few months when we’re back on tour competing that I’ll be up at that level and feeling a bit more like I’m going into those matches expecting to win.”

Underestimate Murray at your peril.

Prediction: Evans in three sets.

 

Kyle Edmund v Cameron Norrie | Edmund leads H2H 1-0

Kyle Edmund on Day Two of the Schroders Battle of the Brits in London, England

Kyle Edmund on Day Two of the Schroders Battle of the Brits in London, England | (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Battle Of The Brits)

Right now the former British No. 1 Kyle Edmund is on cloud nine after his beloved Liverpool finally clinched the Premier League title, but despite a late finish on that fateful evening, he still staked his claim as a favourite for the title on Sunday. He went three-for-three, the same as Evans, and he will face Cameron Norrie for that final spot.

It has been a mixed week for Norrie, who found himself pushed the distance by alternate Ryan Peniston, before being blown off the court by a dominant Evans. Norrie made no mistakes though against another product of the US Collegiate system, Paul Jubb, allowing the 2019 NCAA champion just two games.

Norrie seemed to have lost his way a little towards the end of last year and came up with some heartbreakers in slams. The same could be said for Edmund who also drifted after his coach Fredrik Rosengren retired.

However, over lockdown, Edmund has gained around 4kg of pure muscle, and it has showed with dominant play and some surprising nimbleness in reaching the doubles semi-final along with James Ward.

Prediction: Edmund in straight sets

 

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Jamie Murray & Neil Skupski v Dan Evans & Lloyd Glasspool

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski in the deciding doubles rubber against the Netherlands at the 2019 Davis Cup Finals, Madrid

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski in the deciding doubles rubber against the Netherlands at the 2019 Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, Spain. | (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

It is déjà-vu as Jamie Murray & Neal Skupski take on Evans & Lloyd Glasspool again, but this time for the final honours. The doubles have seen some intensity and feistiness as a result of a lot of banter in the tournament WhatsApp group and today’s final could be no exception.

Evans has the variety to adapt well to doubles, and Glasspool has been dynamic at the net, while Murray and Skupski have had a lot of work to do to get to this point, having started the tournament as favourites albeit suffering a shock loss in their opener.

This is actually a tough one to call, but the edge should be with the established doubles pairing, especially if Evans does put himself in the position to be contesting Sunday’s final.

Prediction: Murray & Skupski in three sets.

 

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