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De Minaur makes dream UTS3 start with easy win over Evans

UTS3 began in style on Friday evening in Antwerp with a comfortable win for Alex de Minaur “The Demon”, over Dan Evans, “The Viper”.

Alex de Minaur, UTS 2020 Alex de Minaur, UTS 2020

“The Demon” – Alex de Minaur – made a dream start to his UTS3 campaign as he crushed Britain’s Dan Evans 4-0 as the latest stage of the competition began in Antwerp on Friday.

The Australian, one of the fastest players on the Tour and one of the best competitors around, edged the first quarter and then dominated the next three to win 13-12, 23-9, 21-10, 20-13, never allowing Evans, “The Viper” a foothold in the match.

“It’s different, that’s for sure,” De Minaur said. “It’s definitely fun, I’m glad it went well for me. It wasn’t easy getting used to the conditions and tactics but I’m glad I made a good start.”

Fast start for De Minaur

It was the first experience of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown for both men but it was De Minaur, the world No 29, who made the more accomplished debut, showing off his full range of skills and his stunning speed around the court.

Evans, the world No 34, had beaten De Minaur in their last meeting, in the ATP Cup at the start of 2020, and the first quarter was close as both men got a feel for the competition. Neither remembered to use their special UTS cards early on but it was the Aussie who shaded it 13-12.

“I forgot to use the cards and I also forgot what card I had,” he said, after snatching the sudden death point.

Dan Evans, UTS 2020

The second quarter was all De Minaur as he raced ahead 7-1, saving his cards until he needed them. Evans, whose slice and dice game can get under the skin of his opponents, was never able to get close enough and the Aussie clinched it comfortably to double his lead.

With 15 seconds between points, both men were huffing and puffing but De Minaur made another fast start to the third quarter, taking a 7-3 lead and then, after using his next point counts double card, he cruised through the rest of the quarter to take an unassailable lead.

Evans unable to counter

Evans tried to raise himself at the start of the final quarter and at one stage it was 8-8 but De Minaur again pulled clear when he needed to and eased through the final moments to clinch a 4-0 victory.

De Minaur was calm throughout and said his attitude was key.

“If only the voices in my head were just positive,” he said. “You get some demons in there every now and again, but it’s normal, it’s a very lonely sport, you have to deal with it. I’ve been working with a sports psychologist for three years now. I put the hours in on the court and off it too.”

De Minaur will take on Pablo Andujar of Spain, The Survivor, in the night’s second match with Evans and Andujar to complete the evening’s competition.

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