TennisSection previews the 2022 Sydney Open as Aslan Karatsev takes on Dan Evans in the semifinal on Friday, January 14th, 2022.
12 months on from his jaw dropping rise on the ATP Tour, Aslan Karatsev has returned to Australia with plenty of fond memories. But he is not one to live in past glory as he chases his 3rd career ATP title. Can he overcome Dan Evans to reach the final of the 2022 Sydney Open?
Something has to give on Friday at the 2022 Sydney Open as the unbeaten streak of either Aslan Karatsev or Dan Evans comes to an end. Aslan Karatsev was forced to pull out from the opening week of the season after testing positive for coronavirus, landing his country a major setback in their quest to retain the ATP Cup. And Karatsev had to wait patiently for his chance to kick-start his 2022 campaign. He got a head start against Miomir Kecmanovic in his first round, but was pushed to the limits by Lorenzo Sonego in the last eight. Karatsev came through a grueling battle that lasted 10 minutes shy of three hours against the Italian.
Dan Evans, meanwhile, advanced to the last four after toppling Maxime Cressy 6-4 7-5 in just under two hours. Cressy was in terrific form to start the year, reaching his first ATP final at the Melbourne Open this past week and only losing to the top seed Rafael Nadal. But he was no match for the British one-hander whose court craft and deft slice completely bamboozled the big-serving American. Two service breaks were all Evans needed, and he withstood a barrage of aces and ferocious ground strokes to reach the semifinal. Evans is 5-0 heading to Friday’s match against Aslan Karatsev after going undefeated at the ATP Cup. Can he go all the way?
Aslan Karatsev leads Dan Evans 1-0 in their head-to-head. He defeated the Briton en route to the Dubai Championship title last season. But I like Evans’ chances heading into Friday’s semifinal at the Sydney Open and the odds seem to be in his favor. The 31-year-old is a former finalist in these parts and tends to start his year strongly in Australian soil. Evans has played fantastically well in five matches Down Under, beginning with the ATP Cup where he was undefeated. Karatsev is a juggernaut and is one of few players who can simply turn a match with one pattern of play. However, Evans seems to have an array of shots that can prove problematic even for a player of Karatsev’s abilities.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Dan Evans in 3 sets.
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