Fixture: Dan Evans vs Taylor Fritz
Date: 10 May 2021
Tournament: Internazionali BNL d'italia 2021
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Rome, Italy
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €2,082,960
Match timing: 10 am local time, 1.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Dan Evans vs Taylor Fritz preview
Dan Evans will look to maintain his fine run of form on clay when he takes on Taylor Fritz in the first round of the 2021 Italian Open.
Evans came into the clay season on the back of some underwhelming results on dirt over the last few years. The Brit had won only a handful of matches on the surface in a career spanning well over a decade.
However, Evans turned things around in style by making the semifinals at the Monte Carlo Masters - his first such result at this level. The 30-year-old not only upset Novak Djokovic in the Principality but also registered victories over Hubert Hurkacz, Dusan Lajovic and David Goffin.
Evans' run at Monte Carlo seemed to have sapped him of energy, as he fell in the opening round at Barcelona to Corentin Moutet. But he looked refreshed when he returned at the Madrid Open, where he made the Round of 16 before losing to eventual finalist Alexander Zverev.
Taylor Fritz, meanwhile, began his 2021 clay swing by making the semifinals of the Sardegna Open. But Fritz failed to create any impact whatsoever in Monte Carlo and Madrid, losing in the first round at both events.
In Fritz's defense, he faced Roberto Bautista Agut in the Principality and Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the Spanish capital. While Bautista Agut is a formidable opponent on all surfaces, Ramos-Vinolas was just coming off a title run in Estoril.
Dan Evans vs Taylor Fritz head-to-head
Dan Evans and Taylor Fritz have never faced each other on the ATP tour, which is why their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
They did, however, lock horns with each other on the Challenger tour in 2015, with the American winning in three sets on an indoor hardcourt.
Dan Evans vs Taylor Fritz prediction
It is no secret that Taylor Fritz doesn't particularly like clay. Two of his biggest weapons - the serve and the flat forehand - don't get much purchase on the slower surface.
While Fritz can rain down a few aces, he is no John Isner who can win matches on clay with his serve alone. The American has also been found lacking in the return department lately.
Fritz will likely face a difficult time dealing with Dan Evans' backhand slice, which has bamboozled the best in the business over the years. He is not the greatest mover on clay either, which makes him susceptible in the longer rallies.
Evans has a lot more momentum on the surface right now; over the last few weeks, he has proven that he can hold his own from the back end of the court. The Brit's superior variety and movement will likely enable him to show Fritz the door in Rome.
Prediction: Dan Evans to win in three sets.