ATP Delray Beach: Dan Evans soars into semifinal with Andreas Seppi dismissal 
Evans has enjoyed a stellar start to the 2019 season (Image source: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Dan Evans sealed his place in his first ATP semifinal since his return to action with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Andreas Seppi at the Delray Beach Open

Saturday's clash with either John Isner or Adrian Mannarino in southern Florida will mark the third tour-level semifinal of Evans' career and it will be one he certainly relishes after returning to the tour with no ranking ten months ago following a drugs ban.

It will also be the Brit's 18th match of a fledgling season after coming through the qualifying rounds at the Australian Open and reaching the final of the Quimper Challenger earlier this month. 

He said of the support he has received in the last 18 months courtside: "There are the ones who spoke to me everyday when I was on the sofa and there's the ones who speak to me now who weren't speaking to me when I was on the sofa. Listen, that's life, isn't it?"

The 28-year-old will return to the top 100 of the rankings with a title this week and he began his clash with the often dangerous Seppi with intent.

Quick out of the traps

Evans broke immediately, reeling off three straight points from 30-15 on the Italian's serve, and the double break was secured soon after with the 28-year-old moving like a player ten years his junior.

So too was he was serving with unerring accuracy, losing only two points on serve until an inexplicable lapse in concentration allowed Seppi to recover one of the breaks of serve as Evans served to secure the opening set. 

The former world number 41 scored the biggest win since his comeback in the opening round when he ousted the Australian Open quarterfinalist Frances Tiafoe from a set down and he has displayed an inner steeliness this week which was evident as he closed out the first set against the Italian.

Evans returned to action in April last year (Image source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Evans returned to action in April last year (Image source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Deciding stage

Evans was on the brink of an opening set bagel against the American, but he made a fist of proceedings and here he kept his pose in the clinching game of set one, sending an overhead into the open court on set point.

He was forced to stave off a break point chance for Seppi to open the second set in a lengthy game before he seized on an opportunity on the Italian's serve. Slicing deep into the backhand corner, he prompted an error from Seppi as he put one foot into the last four.

The Italian rarely allows his emotions to manifest themselves on court, but he was warned by the umpire when he blasted two balls into the stands in frustration as Evans held in the fifth game.

A window opened at 3-4 for Seppi when Evans began to retreat further behind the baseline, but the Brit slammed it shut with a couple of expertly constructed points.

The finish line was in sight and it spoke volumes of Evans' renewed confidence that he closed out the match to love.