TennisSection previews the 2021 Qatar Open as Roger Federer (2) meets Dan Evans in the Round of 16 on Wednesday March 10th, 2021.
Can Roger Federer get the win in his highly-anticipated return to the ATP Tour? Or will Dan Evans spoil the party, continuing his great form in 2021? This is one of the most interesting matches in the Second Round here at the Qatar Open, who will win and advance to the Round of 16?
Roger Federer is arguably the greatest men’s tennis player of all time, and tennis fans the world over will have an eye on this match as he returns to the ATP Tour after being out due to injury for over a year. He has chosen the Qatar Open to make his comeback, having won the title here three times over the course of his career. Now ranked number 6 in the world, he says that he is fully fit and ready to make an attempt to claim his 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. At age 39 he seems as hungry for success as ever and it will be interesting to see how he plays here against the in-form Dan Evans. When he is fit, his serve is still a huge weapon and he possesses one of the best forehands on the ATP Tour. As always with Roger Federer, it is not a question of his ability but of his fitness and movement, a question that will be even more relevant after his layoff. Rust is to be expected here from Roger but due to his immense success and experience it is tough to ever go against him.
British number one Dan Evans enters the Qatar Open having had a relatively strong 2021 season thus far, winning his first career ATP title in Adelaide. He hasn’t played since the Australian Open so he will be fresh and ready to go. Dan Evans is a very difficult opponent to face with his unique game style, being very adept at varying the pace and using his backhand slice to great effect. Currently ranked a career-high #26 in the world, he had a very impressive 2020 season, recording an amazing eight wins over top-20 players. He is always up for a challenge but this will be a large one against someone he admittedly idolizes in Roger Federer. The Brit was impressive in his Opening Round three-set win over Jeremy Chardy, a match that he dominated for two sets but seemingly let his guard down in the second set. Dan Evans will be highly motivated as always and very confident in his ability to get the win here.
This will be the fourth career meeting between the two players, with Roger Federer leading the head to head series 3-0. Dan Evans has never won a set against Federer with their last meeting at the 2019 US Open being a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 win for the Swiss star. These are a much different set of circumstances here now at the 2021 Qatar Open with Federer being away from the game for so long. Dan Evans is one of the toughest opponents to face and is currently in great form in 2021 so this is shaping up to be a very close battle. The pair has practiced together here in Doha this week, so they will have a feel for each other’s game. Despite Roger Federer having a layoff for over a year, I expect him to find a way to win here. He is considered the greatest of all time for a reason and no one has the experience that he does. It certainly won’t be easy and I wouldn’t be shocked if Evans stole the win, but the smart money is on Federer getting the close win, perhaps in three sets.
Free Tennis Preview and Prediction: Roger Federer to win.