Dan Evans in the 2022 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, USA
Dan Evans in the 2022 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, USA ¦ (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Tennis | ATP Barcelona 2023 | Evans ousts Cerundolo to set blockbuster clash with Alcaraz

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Dan Evans [12] def Francisco Cerundolo [15] 2-6 7-5 6-3
  • Evans v Carlos Alcaraz [1] | H2H: Alcaraz leads 1-0
BARCELONA, SPAIN – Dan Evans ousted out Francisco Cerundolo to reach the semi-finals in Barcelona where he will face top seed and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz.


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Dan Evans [12] def Francisco Cerundolo [15] 2-6 7-5 6-3

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Dan Evans is into the semi-finals of Barcelona after he defeated Francisco Cerundolo in three sets in a match that lasted two hours. It was Cerundolo who started the more aggressively as he broke on two consecutive occasions to start the match with Evans making too many errors.

The Brit did break in between the two breaks from Cerundolo but lacked aggressiveness on return throughout the rest of the set. After a blip in the opening stages of the set, Evans did well to recover on serve producing efficient holds of serve. However Evans’ confidence from the baseline didn’t last long as Cerundolo remained patient throughout the set and earned his reward in the seventh game as he broke for a 5-2 lead.

The 12th seed did eventually get his return game together as he created three break points when Cerundolo was serving for the set. Despite some well-constructed points, Evans couldn’t seal the break as the Argentinian held to claim the opening set.

Despite losing the opening set, Evans had momentum on his side and the Brit continued that in the second set as he won the opening eight points to take a 2-0 lead with Cerundolo showing signs of weakness. The retaliation didn’t last long though as there was an immediate break back from Cerundolo as he showed immaculate defensive work to get back on serve.

Throughout the second set both players constructed smart and powerful patterns of play on serve with neither player having many opportunities in the middle of the set. As the second set edged towards its conclusion, both players pushed for the break with the service games lasting longer and the rallies getting more intense.

Initially it was Cerundolo who won the longer rallies thus earning four break points in the eleventh game. The turning point in the match came in this game when Evans produced brave shot-making in the big points as he pounced on the Argentinian’s passive play under pressure. After holding for a 6-5 lead, Evans showed his cutting edge as an excellent return game was sealed by taking his only set point of the set to level the match at one set all.

Tennis is all about confidence and Evans used the confidence from the second set to his advantage as he stormed to a 5-0 lead at the start of the final set against a fatigued Cerundolo. Two gruelling breaks of serve saw Evans take a convincing lead as Cerundolo couldn’t break down the Brit’s aggressive return game.

There was a late comeback from the Argentinian, but it wasn’t enough as his passive and fatigued start was punished by Evans as the Brit closed out the match at the second time of asking to seal his place in the semi-finals of Barcelona.


Dan Evans [12] v Carlos Alcaraz [1]  H2H & Match Fundamentals

Dan Evans [12] v Carlos Alcaraz [1] H2H: Alcaraz leads 1-0
ATP Barcelona 2023 Barcelona, Spain
Clay (O) Prize Money: €132,190
Second on Pista Rafa Nadal (15:00 BST) Amazon Prime Video <– Sign up for trial

Evans will now face top seed and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz for a place in the Barcelona final.


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (Last 12 months)

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H2H: Dan Evans (WR 26) Carlos Alcaraz (WR 2)
Tournament Previous Best R3 (2017) Champion (2022)
1st Serve % 63 65.6
Service Games Won % 79.4 84.5
Break Points Saved % 66 61.7
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 51.3 55.4
Break Points Converted % 37.1 49.2

Evans will need to serve consistently well to have a chance against Alcaraz with the Spaniard being the most clinical player on return on the tour this season.



Playing Styles and Prediction

Alcaraz has had an incredible season so far with clay arguably being his best surface having only lost one match from three tournaments this season on the red dirt. Alcaraz now looks to chase the world number one spot as he looks to defend both the Barcelona and Madrid titles over the next couple of weeks.

Evans will need to serve to a high quality on a consistent basis to have a chance of winning this match as he will need to constantly adapt his tactics. Meanwhile Alcaraz will look to use his athleticism and explosive power to test Evans’ all-court skills and defensive variety. This is the ultimate clay court test for Evans and the Brit will learn something positive from the match heading into the rest of the clay court season.

Prediction: Alcaraz in straight sets.



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