British No. 1 Dan Evans has been picking up some momentum in the final stages of a very irregular season. Reaching two semi-finals in a row, he will make his debut at the Rolex Paris Masters, but it is a tough opener for the chirpy Brit, who faces No. 12 seed Stan Wawrinka.
He has yet to get a win over the Swiss, but even though Wawrinka’s indoor hard-court spin has been less prolific than Evans, he did get a win over the Brit in the opening round of St. Peterburg.
In a battle of the single-handed backhands, Wawrinka packs a little more of a punch overall, as an offensive baseliner. Evans plays a similar game to the Swiss and will need to look to pull Wawrinka out of his comfort zone and be prepared to move him around the court.
Evans has the flair and variety to make things difficult for him – he took the three-time Slam champion to three sets and forced him to come from a set down for an opening win in St. Petersburg, and in the end it came down to two tight sets.
Evans will need to hope that his current momentum of back to back semi-finals has not left him fatigued, while Wawrinka has made it as far as the semi-finals here back in 2015.
The edge has to be with the Swiss, but Evans does have the capability to make him earn it – provided he has something left in the tank.
Prediction: Wawrinka in three sets.
Evans & Wawrinka are scheduled on Court Central at 11am (10am BST).
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