Dan Evans Capable Of Re-Entering Top 100, Says Petchey - UBITENNIS
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Dan Evans Capable Of Re-Entering Top 100, Says Petchey

The former British No.2 is currently unranked after serving a doping ban.

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Dan Evans (zimbio.com)

Great Britain’s Dan Evans has been backed to rise back into the world’s top 100 following a drugs ban by former player and tennis analyst Mark Petchey.

 

The 27-year-old returned to the tour this week after serving a 12-month doping ban. During the 2017 Barcelona Open, Evans tested positive for cocaine and was subsequently suspended. His comeback started at a Challenger event in Glasgow, where he received a wildcard into the qualifying draw. The British player managed to reach the main draw, meaning he will regain an ATP ranking, but lost in the first round to world No.238 Lucas Miedler.

“I’m not really disappointed, it was a good match, he’s better than his ranking I’m sure of that and it was a good level match,” Evans said following the defeat.

Looking at the bigger picture, former world No.80 Petchey believes Evans has the ability to return back to the main stage of the tour. The Birmingham-born player have been ranked as high as 41st in the world. At the start of the 2017 season he reached the fourth round at the Australian Open for the first time. During the same month he also reached his first and so far only ATP Final is Sydney.

“He’s already qualified for a tournament, lost in three to a seeded player, but Dan’s a fantastic player. He’s very talented and is one of those players who hits the ball out the middle of the racket incredibly easily, and if if he’s as hungry as it would appear I think by this time next year it will be a realistic target to see him potentially re-enter the top 100.” Petchey told Sky Sports.
“I think it would take a minimum of a year for Dan to get back there depending on obviously which tournaments he can qualify for and get in. Some of its going to be determined by wild cards and things like that.”

Throughout his career, Evans has been dubbed the ‘bad boy’ of British tennis. Twice during his junior career, he had his funding cut by the British LTA due to his antics. The most noticeable being during the 2008 Wimbledon boys doubles tournament where he lost a match after leaving a nightclub at 3am. He also once missed a British Futures event because ‘he lost track of time’ with his friends.

Despite the controversy, Evans has always been regarded as one of the most talented players in his home country. Illustrated by wins over players such as Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem.

“Dan served his punishment and it’s taken a year out of his prime. He’s probably going to need another year to get back to where he was, probably not even prior to being banned, and for me that’s punishment enough.” Petchey said about Evans’ suspension from the tour.

There is a chance that Evans could return to Grand Slam tennis in July at the Wimbledon Championships. An event he reached the third round of back in 2016. To do so, he would need to rely on the All England Club granting him a wild card.

“We have our wild card meeting on June 19 and, if he applies, he will be considered along with any other wildcard applications,” said chairman Philip Brook.

Evans will re-enter the world rankings next Monday in roughly 1200th place.

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‘Another Level’ – Nick Kyrgios Praises Rising Star Jannik Sinner

This week the world No.11 is bidding to win his third consecutive indoor tournament.

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Jannik Sinner (ITA), (Erste Bank Open 2021, Wiener Stadthalle); Copyright: e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger

Jannik Sinner’s recent dominance when it comes to playing tennis indoors hasn’t gone unnoticed with one of his peers praising him on social media.

 

The 20-year-old defeated Reilly Opelka in the second round of the Vienna Open on Wednesday in what is his fifth consecutive win on the Tour. Impressively Sinner has now won 18 straight sets on indoor hardcourts. Last Sunday he claimed his fifth Tour title at the European Open to become the youngest ATP player to win that many ATP trophies since Novak Djokovic back in 2007.

Sinner’s achievements were highlighted on social media by journalist Ben Rothenberg who posted a tweet of the 18 sets he has won. That caught the attention of former top 20 player and two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios who paid his own tribute to the Italian.

“He is another level. That’s for sure, played him in Washington doubles. Never played someone who hit the ball as hard,” he wrote.

The two are yet to play against each other in singles competition. In Washington Kyrgios and Frances Tiafoe lost 4-6, 4-6, to Sinner and his partner Sebastian Korda.

Sinner’s latest win in Vienna has boosted his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin next month. He has risen back up the standings to 10th in the race after overtaking Indian Wells champion Cameron Norrie. Norrie will play his second round match on Thursday.

“I think I had not so many chances and I used them. I think that was the key today,” Sinner said of his latest win against Opelka. “I served well. My service holds were always quite fast and good. I felt well on the baseline, so I knew when I went in a rally that somehow I was going to win the point. But it’s never easy playing against him. You never have rhythm.”

Awaiting Sinner in the next round will be Austria’s Denis Novak who is currently ranked 116th in the world and is yet to beat a top 10 player in his career.

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Andrey Rublev moves past Ilya Ivashka to reach the quarter finals in St. Petersburg

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Andrey Rublev overcame Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes to advance to the quarter finals for the third time in his career in St. Petersburg Open. 

 

Rublev fended off all seven break points and earned two breaks in the seventh game of the first set and in the third game of the second set. The Moscow native player fired 10 aces and won 84 % of his first service points. 

The eight-time titlist is aiming to win his third career title on home soil after his previous titles in Moscow 2019 and St. Petersburg 2020. 

Rublev set up a quarter final clash against either Sebastian Korda or Botic Van de Zandschulp.Karen Khachanov knocked out Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-3 after 1 hour and 25 minutes. Khachanov will take on 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who eased past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 23 minutes. Cilic leads 1-0 against Khachanov in their only previous head-to-head match in Cincinnati in 2018.

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Matteo Berrettini rallies from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in Vienna

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This year’s Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini came back from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvlili 6-7 (5-7 ) 6-3 6-2 after 2 hours and 5 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Erste Bank in Vienna. 

 

Berrettini saved all three break points he faced and hit 22 aces, including two on the last two points of the match. 

Number 3 seed Berrettini had won three of his previous head-to-head matches against Indian Wells finalist Basilashvili, but they met for the first time on in indoor court. Berrettini had beaten Basilashvili in Winston Salem 2018, Halle 2019 and Rome 2021. 

Both players went on serve in the first set. Berrettini saved the only break point in the second game. Basilashvili earned a mini-break to take a 3-1 lead. Berrettini pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. Basilashvili earned another mini-break on the 10th point to earn two set points at 6-4 and converted his second chance to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Berrettini saved a break point to hold serve at deuce in the first game of the second set. The Italian player earned a break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead and held his next service games before closing out the second set with a double break in the ninth game. 

Berrettini went up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game of the decider. The Queen’s tournament champion faced a break point in the seventh game after a double fault, but he saved it with an ace. He served out the third set 6-3 with his 22nd ace. Berrettini set up a quarter final match against Spanish Next Gen player Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-4.

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