Nottingham | Evans makes it two-in-a-row
British No. 3 Dan Evans has won his second consecutive grass court title on home soil, beating Russian thirteenth seed Evgeny Donskoy 7-6(3) 6-3 to clinch the ATP Challenger singles title and lift the Paul Hutchins Trophy at the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham – an LTA summer grass court event.
It’s been a good week, carrying on strongly from last week, I played very well in the first match [today]. The second match, I was a bit frustrated and I was very tired. But I didn’t lose a set today, so I can’t be too unhappy. I played well out there, despite the wind Dan Evans
The Birmingham-born home favourite took to Centre Court on Sunday evening after winning his semi-final earlier in the day, with the week-long rain disruption pushing the final rounds of the men’s schedule into the last day.
Having reached the final two at the Nature Valley Open last year, top seed Evans continued his fine form this summer despite the tough conditions, defeating both of his Sunday opponents in straight sets to secure his eighth Challenger title after success at the LTA’s Surbiton Trophy last week.
“It’s been a good week, carrying on strongly from last week,” the 29-year-old said. “I played very well in the first match [today]. The second match, I was a bit frustrated and I was very tired. But I didn’t lose a set today, so I can’t be too unhappy. I played well out there, despite the wind.”
The World No. 70, who had never won a title on grass before last week, became only the third player to win multiple grass court Challenger titles in the same year since 2000 – following Daniele Bracciali (2005) and Yen-Hsun Lu (2016) – after he converted his second match point to make it 10 wins in a row.
And with the men’s singles trophy being named in honour of Britain’s longest serving Davis Cup Captain and former Head of Men’s and Women’s Tennis, the crown is an extra special one for Evans.
“It’s amazing to be the first winner of the Paul Hutchins Trophy – he was a massive part of me growing up. He was here last year and it feels a bit empty without him this year. It was really good to win, and hopefully he watched down on that,” Evans said at the Nottingham Tennis Centre, where Hutchins was also Tournament Director of the Nottingham Open.
“I’ve had a lot to do with Paul. Obviously I know his son Ross, so I’m proud to be the first winner of his trophy, and I’m sure Paul would be pretty happy that I was the first winner of his trophy, because he really enjoyed the way I played. He always encouraged me to keep working hard, so it’s great to win it. Hopefully everyone in the Hutchins family is happy that I won it.”