You never know really what to expect from Bernard Tomic, and on this occasion he made Dan Evans work for his opening win. Evans was the first to bring up chances early in the match but had to bide his patience and wait until the middle of the match to actually make that breakthrough after five more break points.
Even trying to close out the set was a see-saw with three set points going begging, while Tomic had three chances of his own to break back, before he managed to convert. Tomic was the first to hit back, coming out on top of three straight breaks of serve, and adding another one to run away with the set.
It was a lot more competitive and settled from Evans at the start of the third set, with the Brit taking the advantage and keeping Tomic at bay although again was made to work hard to take the match on a third match point.
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A lot has happened since they last met in 2016 in the Cherbourg Challenger. Arguably Filip Krajinovic’s finest moment was his win at the Paros Masters in 2017, but since then his form as not hit those same dizzy heights. He has dropped down to the Challengers this year to pick up some momentum and wins but has yet to hit that kind of Masters form.
You might even say that over this latter part of the year, Evans has a lot more momentum, and despite having lost to Krajinovic back at the Challenger level, Evans is a very different player now.
Krajinovic typically looks to play the ball early, and can find some crazy angles, so it will be key for Evans to have his eye in early, and to mix things up. He has good movement and will have to look to come in and try to move him around a lot more.
This is unlikely to be an easy win and perhaps his battle with Tomic will serve him good stead here.
Prediction: Evans in three sets.
Evans & Kajinovic are scheduled on Centre Court, not before 8pm (7pm BST).
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