Tag: because

Dan Evans loses to Ugo Humbert in European Open semi-final after failing to convert four match points

An eventful week for Dan Evans in Antwerp came to an unsatisfactory end as he failed to convert four match points against France’s Ugo Humbert to miss the chance to progress to what would have been his third ATP Tour final. Evans produced some typically canny tennis throughout, claiming the first set and then moving in to a 6-3 lead in the second-set tie-break. But he lost his rhythm when it mattered most, and Humbert – a flashy left-hander with a devastating forehand – took advantage. In what was almost a mirror image of Evans’s quarter-final comeback against Karen Khachanov – only without the disputed line calls – Humbert capitalised on his opponent’s frustration by breaking early in the deciding set and then held on for a 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 win. For Evans, the pain will be all the greater because his most recent defeat – against Stan Wawrinka in St Petersburg – had come after holding three match points. On that occasion, Wawrinka was serving at 0-40 at the time. Statistics show that escapes from 0-40 down are not uncommon among the leading players; indeed some manage to do it around a third of the time. On Saturday, though, three of Evans’s match points against Humbert came on his own serve. On the second of those, he committed a double-fault – a demoralising error which he had not previously made. On the first match point, Humbert had produced a brilliant backhand winner up the line. The other two ended in Evans misses.