With the US Open just around the corner, many players have turned their attention to the ATP 250 event in Winstom-Salem as they look to put a run of victories together ahead of the final Grand Slam of the year. A whopping 48 players will be in the main draw once qualifying is over, but there’s one name that is dominating the headlines: Andy Murray.
The former world number one continues his return to the singles court with an opening round match-up against Tennys Sandgren. Usher this quietly, but he could face Denis Shapovalov in the second round, after the Canadian took a wildcard following an underwhelming performance in Montreal.
However, look up the draw and you’ll see Solihull’s very own Dan Evans sitting pretty as fifth seed. Evans’ remarkable return over the last 18 months continues in North Carolina, and looking at the field, he has an excellent chance of finally collecting his first career ATP title.
Sitting at a cool 20/1 with Unibet to win the title, Evans already has a bye into the second round, where he’ll face either Steve Johnson or Corentin Moutet. Evans’ draw is quite kind, with Benoit Paire, Ugo Humbert, Pablo Carreno Busta, Lorenzo Sonego, Joao Sousa, John Millman and Casper Ruud the other seeded players in his half.
All of those seeded players are fairly evenly matched, and if Evans is on his best game, then he has every chance of coming through.
He’s in decent form, too (well, if you take Cinci qualifying out of the picture).
In Montreal, he outlasted the in-form Alex de Minaur and pushed Rafa Nadal in the second round, while he also looked good in Atlanta in the previous week. A good run of form in Winston-Salem and Evans could find his way into a third career ATP final, something which feels like it’s on the cards sooner rather than later.
And, on the one year anniversary of his incredible victory at the Vancouver Challenger as a qualifier, it feels like it could be written in the stars for Evans to beat the odds once more.
Let’s hope Evans shines and picks up his maiden ATP title.