Dan Evans in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open, Melbourne
Dan Evans in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open, Melbourne | (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Tennis | ATP Shanghai 2023 | Evans takes on Alcaraz after Kukushkin retirement

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Dan Evans [30] def Mikhail Kukushkin [Q] 6-2 3-0 RET
  • Evans v Carlos Alcaraz [1] | H2H: Alcaraz leads 3-0
SHANGHAI, CHINA – Dan Evans will face Carlos Alcaraz in the third round in Shanghai after Mikhail Kukushkin’s mid-match retirement.


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Dan Evans [30] def Mikhail Kukushkin [Q] 6-2 3-0 RET

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Dan Evans is into the last 16 in Shanghai after Mikhail Kukushkin withdrew in the second set of their second round contest. Evans was confident from the start of the match as he produced some accurate serving mixed with some consistent depth from the baseline as he converted his first break point of the match to take a 2-1 lead.

The Kazakh veteran responded with some comfortable service games of his own as he used the momentum from qualifying into the main draw. Despite Kukushkin’s forehand power, the 35 year-old lacked consistency on return to trouble Evans as the difference in quality was evident. The 30th seed once again comfortably broke for a 5-2 lead before securing the opening set in 34 minutes as he converted his first set point.

Evans continued his momentum in the second set as Kukushkin put everything into ensuring he held serve in the opening stages of the set. However the Brit was too consistent as he broke twice, taking a 3-0 lead to a powerless Kukushkin. The Kazakh was clearly struggling physically with Evans’ intensity and eventually decided to withdraw from the match, giving Evans the win and a place in the third round.


Dan Evans [30] v Carlos Alcaraz [1]   H2H & Match Fundamentals

Dan Evans [30] v Carlos Alcaraz [1] H2H: Alcaraz leads 3-0
ATP Shanghai 2023 Shanghai, China
Hard (O) Prize Money: $55,770
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Evans will now have revenge on his mind as he takes on Carlos Alcaraz in a repeat of their US Open clash which the Spaniard won in four sets.


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2023)

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H2H: Dan Evans (WR 33) Carlos Alcaraz (WR 2)
Tournament Previous Best QR2 (2019) N/A
1st Serve % 59.4 65.2
Service Games Won % 78.1 85.7
Break Points Saved % 61.2 64.4
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 48.6 54.5
Break Points Converted % 36.4 40

Evans will need to maintain a consistent level on serve in order to neutralise Alcaraz’s efficient and aggressive returning.



Playing Styles and Prediction

Alcaraz is looking to re-capture his world number one ranking after losing it to Novak Djokovic at the US Open. The Spaniard will be looking to gain valuable ranking points in Shanghai as he continues to raise the standard and ensure why he is the main rival to Djokovic at the big events.

Evans will look to use his variety to set up short balls from Alcaraz as the Brit looks to remain patient from the baseline and find the right moments to be aggressive and take the match to the top seed. Meanwhile Alcaraz will look to serve with authority and power as he looks to limit the Brit’s time on the ball as well as neutralise Evans’ variety. This will be a good test for Evans, which should see him remain competitive throughout the contest. However Alcaraz’s consistent quality should have too much for a confident Evans in a thrilling third round match.

Prediction: Alcaraz in three sets.



J.J. Wolf def Cameron Norrie [15] 6-3 5-7 7-6(4)

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However there will be no third round match for Cameron Norrie after another disappointing defeat as he lost in three sets to J.J. Wolf in a two day contest. On Saturday, Norrie failed to convert a flurry of break points in the opening set and paid the price as he was broken in his last two service games as he conceded the opening set 6-3.

Norrie fought back resiliently in the second set in what was a crazy set of tennis as the Brit let a 5-2 lead slip from his fingers. Despite this the Brit broke for a third time in the set to take a 6-5 lead before converting his first set point to level the match at one set all.

In the final set, Norrie took the early initiative as he broke in the opening game before saving six break points to take a 3-2 lead. That’s when rain forced the match to be finished on Sunday, where Norrie continued the momentum and looked to be heading for victory. However in what has been typical for his season, Norrie faltered when it mattered most as he was broken easily in the tenth game at 5-5 with the deciding set going to a tiebreak.

As a result of Norrie’s lapses of concentration, the Brit lost another tight match as Wolf’s power saw him win the tiebreak 7-4 and add more misery onto Norrie’s season. Norrie will now head to Tokyo on the week of the 16th of October as he looks to end his Asian swing on a high in what has been an underwhelming second half of the season.


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