Tag: Year

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.

Dan Evans survives match point to make European Open semi-final as Karen Khachanov loses his cool

British No.1 Dan Evans fought through to the semi-finals of the European Open in Antwerp after saving a match point against Karen Khachanov – Russia’s world No.17 – in a contest that featured plenty of tantrums and some post-watershed language. The bad blood was not so much between the players as it was between Khachanov and chair umpire Adel Nour, who made one of the worst over-rules ever seen in an ATP Tour match in the middle of the first set. That point was not of great significance in the big picture, as Khachanov still took the game and the set, despite Nour mistakenly ruling that a ball which bounced several inches inside the baseline had flown long. “I saw it out,” he told a furious Khachanov. But the earlier error then caused Khachanov to blow up completely in the second-set tie-break. Having failed to convert a match point at 6-5, thanks to an unreturnable Evans serve, he then felt that the officials had erred again when the score stood at 7-7. Such incidents are usually resolved by Hawk-Eye challenges, but Antwerp is not supplying the ball-tracking service this year, So Khachanov raged at Nour, saying “What are you doing here? What are you for? We can call the score.”