With the exception of his run to the Auckland semi-final, Hurkacz has had a fairly nondescript year with the odd win before his time at a tournament is over. Even his warm-up to Rome saw him go out in his second match in Kitzbuhel.
For Evans, by contrast, a solid start to the year him reach two quarter-finals and a semi-finals before being a noisy addition to the line-up of both Battle of the Brits tournaments, as lockdown started to ease, but since the restart, he has struggled to reproduce that kind of consistency.
With Hurkacz at least having some clay under his feet, Evans will have to hit the ground running as he lines up against a big old unit in Hurkacz. At well over 6ft, it remains to be seen how he can deal with the claggy clay of Rome, which at least is as similar as they are likely to get in France, even down to the late autumnal conditions.
Hurkacz will make Evans try and hit the extra ball and is very solid from the baseline, so Evans will have to try and disrupt his camping position with all the variety we know he has.
Prediction: Evans in three sets.
Evans & Hurkacz are scheduled third on GrandStand Arena, not before 2pm (1pm BST).
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