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Evans vs Albot ATP Delray Beach live streaming, preview and tips - Evans and Albot duel for first ATP title

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 24 Feb 2019
  • Dan Evans vs Radu Albot is live from Delray Beach on Sunday at 3.00pm local time (8.00pm GMT)
  • First career meeting between the pair
Dan Evans (Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP/Getty Images)

British qualifier Dan Evans and the unseeded Radu Albot battle for a maiden ATP World Tour title on Sunday at the Delray Beach Open.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

After Alex de Minaur (Sydney), Tennys Sandgren (Auckland), Juan Ignacio Londero (Cordoba) and Reilly Opelka (New York), we are guaranteed a fifth first-time ATP champion for 2019 on Sunday as Dan Evans and Radu Albot collide in the final of the Delray Beach Open. In fact, with rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime facing Laslo Djere in the Rio Open final, that number will rise to six by the end of the day.

Evans has made his second tour-level final the hard way this week, coming from qualifying and securing the third top 10 win of his career over John Isner in the semi-finals on Saturday, coming from behind to chop down the towering American by a 3-6 6-2 6-3 scoreline. Isner hadn’t been broken in 77 service games so far this week, but from 2-2 in the second, Evans managed to break the second seed three straight times, quickly seizing the initiative in the contest by anticipating the enormous Isner serve and moving the big American around the court with his tremendous backhand slice. Evans also came back from a break down in the deciding set of his opening round with defending champion Frances Tiafoe before beating Lloyd Harris and Andreas Seppi in straight sets.

"I just play every match as it comes, every point, every game. It sounds very cliché but... I'm just playing every match. It's not about beating John, it's not about beating [Andreas] Seppi. The ball is coming and I'm just trying to focus on myself," Evans said. "I'm moving well, I'm playing pretty good, so I think I'm difficult to play."

Evans was hitting his stride during a career-best 2017 season as he started the season by claiming his first top 10 scalp over Dominic Thiem to reach the Sydney International final (lost to Gilles Muller), and followed that up by posting his second top 10 victory over Marin Cilic en route to the fourth round of the Australian Open, where he went down to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Evans would go on to reach a career-high ranking of No. 41 a couple of months later, but then his career came to an abrupt halt as he tested positive for cocaine and was subsequently banned for the next 10 months.

Returning to the tour without a ranking, Evans has been toiling away at Challenger level in a bid to return to the top 100 - and he’s almost there with his run to the final in Delray Beach, with the Brit currently No. 105 in the live rankings (he’d move to around No. 87 with the title). The 28-year-old was back in the top 400 after making the semi-finals of Surbiton and the final of Nottingham during the grass season, while a title in Vancouver propelled him to the cusp of the top 200. Evans broke through that barrier by qualifying for the Australian Open and making the second round (pushing Roger Federer in a tight straight sets loss) and fishing runner-up at the Quimper Challenger in his only other events of the season before arriving in Delray Beach.

Radu Albot (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Meanwhile, Radu Albot surged into his first ATP World Tour final in style on Saturday night, sensationally winning the last 12 games of his semi-final against Mackenzie McDonald, coming back from a set down to emerge triumphant by a 3-6 6-0 6-0 scoreline. Albot also came back from a 1-6 deficit to beat Steve Johnson in a deciding set tiebreak in the quarter-finals, while he also took out big servers Ivo Karlovic and Nick Kyrgios earlier in the week.

"Tomorrow is a different day, different match," Albot said after beating McDonald. "I think I need to relax a little bit, enjoy the moment and I will think about [the final] a little bit later."

Albot is one of those players that gets the most out of his limited resources, which is always to be respected, and although he doesn’t have many big weapons or much outright power, he makes up for it with his competitive spirit, consistency from the baseline and speed around the court. For a man who has never been ranked higher than No. 79, Albot has had some pretty good results in the slams over the last two years, reaching the third round of the U.S. Open in 2017 and the same stage at Wimbledon in 2018. The 29-year-old also made his first ATP semi-final in Metz last season and also became the first Moldovan to make a Grand Slam semi-final in singles or doubles when he did so with Malek Jaziri at the U.S. Open.

Now the first Moldovan to reach an ATP final, can Albot go all the way in Delray Beach? You’d be foolish to count him out with the way he’s played this week, but I’ve got to side with Evans in this match-up. The Brit has been on fire in Delray Beach, with his trademark slice and dice game becoming a nightmare for his opponents. Evans has so much variety and talent to fall back on, and I think if he plays like he did against Isner and for basically the entire week, he comes away with a maiden ATP title on Sunday.

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Evans vs Albot ATP Delray Beach live streaming, preview and tips - Evans and Albot duel for first ATP title

British qualifier Dan Evans and the unseeded Radu Albot battle for a maiden ATP World Tour title on Sunday at the Delray Beach Open.

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