Fifth seed Andrey Rublev of Russia eased past 25th seed Daniel Evans of the Great Britain 6-4 6-2 6-3 to move into the fourth round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Saturday. It was the second victory in straight sets for the 25-year-old Russian in the tournament.
The 32-year-old Evans could not put up enough resistance against the formidable Russian on the day and his exit means that Andy Murray is only Brit left in the tournament. Rublev will take on Holger Rune of Denmark in the fourth round on Sunday.
We will now take a look at how Rublev beat Evans in the match:
Rublev’s inside-out forehands pinned Evans to the corner repeatedly
Rublev is known to possess one of the most forehands on the tour and it was fully on display on Saturday. There were a lot of crosscourt backhand exchanges in the first set between the two players and Evans kept playing backhand slices to take the pace off the ball. Rublev then went around his backhand to play inside-out forehands to Evans’ backhand to pin the Brit to the corner of the court.
The Russian then finished with down-the-line forehand winners to keep the pressure on the Brit. However, to Evans’ credit, he fought well in the first set and was broken only in the final game of the set, when he played a backhand slice into the net on set point. Still, Rublev was easily the more aggressive player of the two with 23 winners in the set against Evans’ 12.
Rublev turned on the heat in the last two sets as Evans struggled to cope
Rublev became more destructive with his forehand as the match progressed and Evans was not able to match his firepower. The Brit managed to win the majority of the points in the net, but his ground game was not powerful enough and he struggled to hit through the Russian.
Evans started hitting the inside-out forehand more frequently from the second set onwards instead of always opting for the backhand slice, but his shots were not potent enough for the most part. Moreover, his return of serve was not good enough either and he could not break the Russian even once in the match. He kept supplying short balls to Rublev that the latter dispatched for winners off his forehand.
Rublev broke Evans twice in the second set and once in the third to register an emphatic win. The Russian hit a very impressive 60 winners, with 33 of them coming off his forehand, in a three-set match, while Evans could come up with only 20. The Brit was a bit too passive and could not test the Russian’s defense.