I am happy to jump in to the slight underdog price on Dan Evans in this match-up with Aslan Karatsev.
All of a sudden, Karatsev finds himself just 10 ranking spots away from being seeded for grand slams, after having to qualify for the Australian Open a couple of months ago. The Russian has backed up his Australian Open semi final appearance with straight set wins over Zayid and Gerasimov over the last week, and a three set loss to Dominic Thiem. I am not overly surprised by those results, as from watching Karatsev I do feel as though he does thrive moreso off consistent pace coming from the other end of the court. Against Evans today however, there will be a far more variety coming from the other end of the court.
It is easy to forgive the Australian Open effort of Dan Evans given the fact he won his first title only days earlier. Fast forward to Doha last week, and Evans was tasked with the tricky spot of having to face Roger Federer in his return to tour. The performance from the Swiss was fare and away better than his effort against Basilashvili the next day, so I am also willing to forgive there. His backhand slice, and ability to force Karatsev to generate his own pace at times off both wings, adds a layer of complexity to this match-up for the Russian.
The short term underperformance of Evans has lead to him going up here at $2, and in the conditions on offer in Dubai I am happy to back him in for 1.5 units.
1.5 units Evans to defeat Karatsev at $2 (+100) at Unibet ($2 at Bet365 and $2.04 at Pinnacle) – Value to $1.85