Dan Evans began an important week in Monte-Carlo with a straight sets win over lucky loser Benjamin Bonzi. The Brit settled into the match quickly and found the perfect combination between power and variety as he constructed points perfectly to outsmart the Frenchman.
Meanwhile Bonzi was nervy and tentative with his shots as he made a stream of unforced errors. The Frenchman failed to create a single break point while Evans converted three of his six break point opportunities as a rather efficient first set was produced in 31 minutes as the Brit won all six games.
However Bonzi eliminated all the tension at the start of the second set as he played much more aggressive tennis and played with more creativity, using all parts of the court. Bonzi forced Evans into rash mental errors as the Frenchman broke with his first break point to take a 3-0 lead at the start of the second set.
Despite the early blip, Evans regained his composure on serve and battled back on return using his slice and court awareness to good effect. Last year’s semi-finalist was threatening with the break and some good resolve saw the Brit get back on serve in the seventh game. Both players had to overcome tight service games in windy conditions and use more patience in rallies but eventually both players held on to force a tiebreak.
In the end Evans’ mental fortitude and creative point construction sealed the win for the Brit as he booked his place into the second round and a good confidence-booster ahead of a week that could see him fall down the rankings.
After a difficult start to the season, Goffin has recovered well recently and heads into this match in good form on the clay having won the title in Marrakech last week. The Belgian is capable of outsmarting the best players in the world on this surface and is known for frustrating his opponents with his stubborn defensive play.
Evans need to time his aggression well and just like in his previous three meeting against Goffin use his slice to disrupt the Belgian’s rhythm. Goffin’s ability to make deep shots and set-up attacking winners from defensive positions makes this a tough match for Evans. This should be an entertaining match and one that Goffin has the advantage in given the surface.
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