Dan Evans v Tommy Robredo – H2H: Robredo leads 1-0
The story of Dan Evans and the clay has been a bit of a bumpy one. Getting a win against a somewhat hungover Julien Benneteau in a dead Davis Cup rubber was one thing, byt Evans finally managed to back that up with a couple of decent wins in Barcelona on a surface he has little time for.
For his opponent though, tour veteran Tommy Robredo has been gradually easing himself back since missing the start of the tour with foot surgery, only starting again somewhat tentatively on the Latin ‘Golden’ clay court swing.
Robredo has yet to manage any back to back wins on the stuff, remarkably something Evans has managed but there is no doubting the Spaniard’s pedigree on the dirt. He has won most of his titles on the dirt.
Evans’ only hope is that the long route back to fitness and match sharpness leaves Robredo wanting and that his more recent work on the dirt and his change in attitude keeps him ahead of the game.
He has made no secret of the fact that he has no intentions to adjust his aggressive baseline game to suit the surface, and in fairness in Barcelona it served him well.
Robredo will work him hard – the workmanlike approach of getting every ball back all the live long day will test Evans’ fitness to the max and the flair and variety that he does possess ought to see him come out on top but the metronomic Spaniard at least knows how to move on the slippery stuff.
This could easily be one of those renowned five set first round grinds that Roland Garros has become so famous for and we would give Evans a slight edge simply by virtue of being just a little fitter.
Prediction: Evans in four sets.
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