Fixture: Dan Evans vs Jurij Rodionov
Date: 29 October 2020
Tournament: Erste Bank Open 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Vienna, Austria
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €1,409,510
Match timing: 2 pm local time, 6.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony ESPN
Dan Evans vs Jurij Rodionov preview
World No. 33 Dan Evans takes on 153rd-ranked Austrian wildcard Jurij Rodionov in the second round of the Erste Bank Open on Thursday.
A runner-up showing at Delray Beach in 2019 was the start of what was to become a solid phase of Dan Evans' career. The Brit built on that performance to reach a couple of quarterfinals on the ATP tour last year, and then carried his momentum into 2020.
In a consistent season so far, Evans has made it to the semifinals in Dubai and Antwerp as well as the quarterfinals in Adelaide and Rotterdam. With wins over Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov, Evans has truly announced his arrival in the top 30, peaking at No. 28.
The 30-year-old arrived in Vienna on the back of a stellar display in Antwerp, where he was beaten by eventual champion Ugo Humbert in a thrilling semifinal. And in the first round here on Tuesday, Evans didn't have to expend much energy as Aljaz Bedene retired with the Brit leading 6-3, 4-5.
The 21-year-old Jurij Rodionov meanwhile reached a career-high ranking of No. 148 earlier this month, by virtue of making the second round of Roland Garros (from qualifying). In the first round of the Paris main draw, Rodionov showed his fighting spirit as he edged the experienced Jeremy Chardy in a grueling five-setter.
The Austrian drew inspiration from that win to produce his career-best performance in the Vienna first round and knock out the eighth seed Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 7-5.
Dan Evans vs Jurij Rodionov head-to-head
Dan Evans and Jurij Rodionov have never met on the ATP Tour, so their head-to-head record currently stands at 0-0. They have, however, faced each other in qualifiers and at the ATP Challenger level, splitting those meetings equally.
The first of their two showdowns took place on the indoor hardcourts of the Loughborough ATP Challenger event in 2018, which went Rodionov's way 6-4, 7-5. Evans avenged that defeat the following year in the qualifying rounds of the Australian Open, with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win.
Dan Evans vs Jurij Rodionov prediction
By sheer dint of experience, Dan Evans has the edge in this match. He has been notching up consistent results throughout the year, and has also come into Vienna with a lot of confidence after a good show in Antwerp last week.
However, this is unlikely to be an easy task for the Brit. Jurij Rodionov will be motivated to keep his run going after toppling Shapovalov, and he has the home support too.
The Austrian is endowed with a powerful serve and he uses his big lefty forehand to strike the ball hard - something that Shapovalov had no answer to. But tackling Evans will be a different ballgame altogether.
The Brit has a unique style of play, which relies heavily on backhand slices and quick net approaches. Evans also won his last encounter against Rodionov, which he would surely take a leaf out of.
This match has all the ingredients to be a tight one, but it is unlikely that Evans will squander such a grand opportunity of advancing to the quarters of an ATP 500 event.
Prediction: Dan Evans to win in three sets.Published 28 Oct 2020, 00:42 IST