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Nottingham | Evans loses out to teenager

Nottingham | Evans loses out to teenager

Dan Evans was beaten in the final of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham by Australian teenager Alex de Minaur.

The former British No.2 was competing in his first final since he returned in April from a year’s ban for taking cocaine, but lost 7-6(4) 7-5 in an entertaining match in what was his fourth defeat in 20 matches since his return.

The difference between today and my other finals is that I managed to stay composed Alex De Minaur

The win for 19-year-old De Minaur, ranked 96 in the world, gives him his first ATP Challenger title.

De Minaur took the first set on a tie-break before the pair exchanged breaks of serve in the second set.

The Briton, 28, broke De Minaur when the Australian was serving for the match at 5-4 but only delayed the inevitable. He was immediately broken to love in the following game allowing the Aussie teenager a second chance to serve out, which he duly accomplished.

De Minaur, the 2018 Fuzion 100 Surbiton Trophy runner-up, who lost his previous four ATP Challenger finals and the ATP 250 final in Sydney this year, said: “These two weeks have been memorable for me and I will never forget them. The difference between today and my other finals is that I managed to stay composed. I just got back onto what I needed to do. Playing on Centre Court is a pretty special atmosphere.”

Evans, who will rise from his current ranking of 530 after reaching the final in Nottingham, will continue his comeback Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s next week after being awarded a wild card.

His expectations of being given one for Wimbledon though, are low. “No probably not” he replied when asked, adding: “I’ve had the worst past of a British player too. Wimbledon is completely different. It’s not the LTA, it’s the All England Club and they have their own criteria. And if I don’t fit it, I don’t fit it.”

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