Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, October 23, 2020

Dan Evans

Dan Evans fought off a match point and an ornery Karen Khachanov 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 advancing to his second semifinal of the season in Antwerp.

Photo credit: European Open Facebook

Deadlocked in vise-grip pressure of a tiebreaker, Dan Evans laid it on the line—and Karen Khachanov stepped over the emotional line.

Exploiting a Khachanov tiebreaker temper tantrum, Evans rallied from a set and a break down saving a match point in subduing the raging Russian 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 to reach the European Open semifinals in Antwerp. 

More: Becker Pleads Not Guilty

A spirited comeback sends Evans into his second semifinal of the season and first since he made the final four in Dubai last February.

The 30-year-old Briton arrived in Antwerp mired in a five-match losing streak, but has found his rhythm and resolve working his way through the field while improving his 2020 record to 7-6 vs. Top 20 opponents. 

Tennis Express

Today's quarterfinal pitted the 6'6" Khachanov's flat firepower vs. the 5'9" Evans' varied spins and speeds. Ultimately, Evans' composure and clarity under duress proved pivotal.

The third-seeded Khachanov was cracking drives into the corners breaking the Briton twice in three service games as he built a one-set, 4-2 lead. Using his low slice backhand to force the big man to bend, Evans won eight of 10 points breaking back in the eighth game and holding at love for 5-4. Evans denied match point at 5-6 in the tie breaker.

At 7-7 in the tiebreaker, Evans drove a diagonal forehand that seemed to strike the edge of the sideline. Khachanov immediately complained the ball was wide.

Antwerp does not use Hawk-Eye or any line-calling technology so there was no review for Khachanov, who erupted in an angry tirade questioning why chair umpire Adel Nour did not over-rule the ball on the far sideline.

“It's a joke! It's a joke!", Khachanov screamed. "What are you doing here? What are you doing here? To call the score? To call the score?...Without Hawk-Eye you need to f—king see every ball…

"You don’t know my frustration. You don’t.”

If Nour didn't know it, he certainly heard it as Khachanov continued to melt down.

The shot gave Evans set point and he quickly converted on a Khachanov error.

Still seething, the Russian kicked the red Emirates sponsor sign affixed to net then twice hammered his Wilson racquet against the side of the chair umpire’s seat incurring a code violation for his outburst.

A distracted Khachanov double-faulted away the break to open the deciding set. Evans kept moving forward backing up the break at 30 for a 2-0 lead.

Showing his all-court class, Evans mixed in his slice to draw the Russian forward then held the ball on his strings momentarily before lofting a rainbow lob winner closing a love hold for 3-1.

Evans' racquet skills and his ability to step into the court and time the ball on the rise helped him apply pressure throughout the final set as he won 14 of 16 points played on his first serve in the decider. Evans served out a two hour, 40-minute comeback at love.

The world No. 35 improved to 16-11 setting up a semifinal date vs. Ugo Humbert.

The lanky Frenchman opened today's quarterfinal action topping South African Lloyd Harris 6-3, 7-6(2).

Earlier, fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the final four on a walkover when Milos Raonic withdrew from their scheduled quarterfinal due to an abdominal injury.

Dimitrov, who is through to his second semifinal of the season, will play either eighth-seeded Alex de Minaur or 94th-ranked American qualifier Marcos Giron for a spot in Sunday's final.    


Latest News