Dan Evans splits opinion.
April 2017 Dan failed a drugs test at Barcelona. He had just reached a career high of 41 and out of competition took the class A drug.
Dan’s tennis world fell apart around him. He received a one year ban from the sport and over the course of the year has made an impressive comeback.
As subsequent of his ban from the sport was that his ranking would drop. He fell in May of last year just after he returned to the tour at 1195 but is now back up to 63 in the world following impressive run of results including back to back grass court titles in Surbiton and Nottingham on the challenger tour.
Dan began his year in Melbourne where he came through qualifying at the Australian Open before giving Roger Federer a big test in the third round with the Swiss legend coming through 7-6 7-6 6-3 admiring the Brit’s game. This wasn’t the last we’d see of the two on court together as Dan travelled on an invite to Switzerland to practice with Roger on the clay.
Next up was a qualifier in France where he got to the final defeating four Frenchman before falling to the fifth in the final from a set up. Another week another final defeat from a set up. At Delray Beach the Brit came through Tiafoe, Seppi, Young and John Isner before he lost from a set up against Albot in the final.
It was sunshine double time, well for Dan sunshine triple. He took part in the challenger at Indian Wells making the semi-finals before the main event where he led Stan Wawrinka in the first round but fell 7-6 3-6 3-6 against the three time major champion.
Next up, Miami.
He was lucky here in my opinion. He got a few warnings, point penalty and called his qualifying match a ‘f*****g s**tshow but still got a lucky loser spot in the main draw which I thought was totally wrong.
Dan’s clay court season didn’t get into much of a swing. His best win came up against Dusan Lajovic in the Rome qualifiers. With his ranking back up he didn’t have to come through qualifying in Paris but fell to Verdasco in four sets.
Titles in Surbition and Nottingham in a row to begin the grass court season have taken the headlines but he hasn’t done too bad at that as well.
Dan like I said splits opinion. Out of no-where in January he decided to take a swipe at Jamie Murray. He said doubles players didn’t have the skills and didn’t work hard enough to make it in singles. He also took a swipe against doubles coach Louis Cayer who was made National Performance Director as he’s only ever coached doubles players.
Dan went onto say about celebrating doubles;
“Jamie thinks we should be celebrating six pairs inside the main draw of a grand slam? So we are celebrating people who didn’t make it at singles and people who didn’t have the attitude to work hard enough to make it in the singles game.”
Like I said, he splits opinion.
What he did taking Cocaine was wrong and I think tennis does have a bit of a problem welcoming players back who have failed a drugs test. What message are we sending out? What about all the kids watching TV because it will get mentioned. My stance is on wildcard which shouldn’t be offered so credit to Dan for taking the long route and tougher route back.
The statement from the ITF did read this;
- 3.1 On 20 April 2017, while out of competition, he ingested a small amount of cocaine. He then put the leftover cocaine first in his pocket and then in a pocket of his washbag, before discarding it the next day.
- 3.2 In the same pocket of the washbag, he stored tablets of (permitted) medication. He took those tablets daily from 20 April 2017 to 24 April 2017, the date on which he provided his sample that later tested positive for cocaine and its metabolite.
You can read more here – https://www.itftennis.com/media/274164/274164.pdf
Dan is in action this week at Queens Club where he has been drawn against Stan Wawrinka in the first round.