Dan Evans will be hoping to improve his French Open record when he faces Thanasi Kokkinakis in the opening round…
Dan Evans will be hoping to improve his French Open record when he faces Thanasi Kokkinakis in the opening round at Roland Garros.
The British number two is gearing up for his sixth appearance in the French capital, but has only tasted victory just once in his six previous main-draw matches at the season’s second major.
That sole success came 12 months ago when he defeated Francisco Cerundolo in the opening round, and he will be eager to break more ground this time around.
Seeded 20th at this year’s French Open, Evans has endured a fairly inconsistent 2023 thus far. Indeed, he has reached the semi-finals in Barcelona and Marrakech, but also suffered eight first-round defeats.
The 33-year-old has a point to prove and will be wary of facing Kokkinakis, who gave Andy Murray a fright at the Australian Open in January.
The Australian established a two-set lead on Rod Laver Arena, but was on the receiving end of an inspired fightback by the three-time major winner as he eventually succumbed in the decider.
Kokkinakis has otherwise endured a fairly modest season, although he did beat Andrey Rublev on his way to reaching the semi-finals in Adelaide.
The world number 107 also has fond memories of Roland Garros, where he produced his best major performance to date on debut in 2015, beating Nikoloz Basilashvili and compatriot Bernard Tomic before eventually going down in straight sets to top seed Novak Djokovic.
And the 27-year-old, who lost in the first round of his other two appearances here in 2017 and 2022, will look to draw inspiration from that run eight years on.
The winner of this match will play either 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka or Albert Ramos Vinolas in the second round of the 2023 French Open.
The match gets underway from around 11.30am on Sunday May 28 and will be contested over the best of five sets at Roland Garros.
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