British No 3 Dan Evans hitting top form ahead of Wimbledon with straight sets victory over Jack Draper
- British No 3 Dan Evans is finding top form ahead of the return of grass season
- He took straight sets victory over Wimbledon junior losing finalist Jack Draper
- Evans recently moved up to 70 in the world after his Surbiton victory
Riding the crest of a wave can be a tricky business in a landscape full of muddy puddles.
Four days of incessant rain meant that top seed Dan Evans, winner at Surbiton last week, had to wait until Thursday to play his first match at the Nottingham Open.
His straight sets dismissal of Wimbledon junior losing finalist Jack Draper was inflicted down the road from the Nottingham Tennis Centre as the inclement weather continued to play havoc with the competition.
British No 3 Dan Evans is finding top form ahead of the return of grass season tennis
There were no spectators, no scoreboard even, as the men’s programme was switched to Nottingham Trent University.
Evans, who received a first-round bye, beat left-hander Draper 7-5, 6-3 in a work-out which will have done the world of good to the up-and-coming teenager as well as his older opponent.
‘It was good. It was a great facility and I enjoyed it, played good, court was good and it was good to get a sweat on and get something done this week. It’s been a bit boring,’ Evans said.
‘It was difficult today, took me a while to get used to the court I am happy just to get through.’ Draper, nominated for BBC Young Personality of the Year in 2018, captured the headlines last year at Wimbledon in his run to the boys’ final.
Evans, who received a first-round bye, beat left-hander Draper 7-5, 6-3 in comfortable style
The world no 571 has had an up-and-down few months because of injury and loss of form but he briefly suggested an upset, failing to convert four first set points.
Draper certainly impressed Evans, who added: ‘He would have thought he could beat me. He played good, he tailed off but that is just physical and mentally he’s not used to that level.
‘But that is part of him learning to be a professional. He is going to be a good player and it was a tough match.’
Evans, who moved up to 70 after his Surbiton victory, next plays 20-year-old Swede Mikael Ymer, ranked 123. Sadly the forecast is predicting rain. Again.
And that is bad news for players who have not yet been able to get on to the sodden grass of the Nottingham Tennis Centre at all.
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