Nottingham | Evans through to third round
British No. 3 Dan Evans saved four set points before defeating compatriot Jack Draper 7-5 6-3 to reach the ATP Challenger third round at the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham – an LTA summer grass court event – though there were losses for GB Fed Cup star Harriet Dart and Glasgow’s Maia Lumsden.
Jack played pretty well – I was obviously down in the match and came through. But he’s got a big future ahead of him if he carries on working hard. Hopefully we have another guy coming up into the top 100 soon. Dan Evans
Top seed Evans was trailing 5-2 in the first set but won five games in a row to notch his sixth consecutive singles victory, having captured his first grass court title at Surbiton last week.
“It was a tough match,” said Birmingham-born Evans, who is No. 70 in the ATP rankings. “Jack played pretty well – I was obviously down in the match and came through. But he’s got a big future ahead of him if he carries on working hard. Hopefully we have another guy coming up into the top 100 soon.”
The 2018 Nottingham finalist joins qualifier and fellow Brit Ryan Peniston (Southend) in the last 16, where he faces Mikael Ymer second on Court 1 on Friday – a day later than third round matches had originally been scheduled, with four consecutive washouts disrupting play outdoors.
He added: “It’s obviously disappointing for the tournament organisers, but they’re doing the best job they can in the circumstances, and all the players are thankful for that.
“Everyone has had the patience to drive us everywhere and ‘fulfil our demands’, you could say. Everyone here in Nottingham has been great, like they have been each year, so I’m very grateful for that.”
In the concurrent WTA International event, Dart and Lumsden each lost to seeded opponents while 2019 Roland Garros doubles winner Kristina Mladenovic set up a quarter-final clash with second seed and 2017 Nottingham champion Donna Vekic – second on Centre Court on Friday.
Due to close proceedings on the main stage will be Greek fourth seed Maria Sakkari and the USA’s Jennifer Brady, who took three hours and 10 minutes — the joint-fifth longest WTA match of 2019 — to defeat Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain 6-4 3-6 7-5.
Elsewhere, British wild cards Eden Silva (London) and Sarah Beth Grey (Liverpool) reached the quarter-finals of the WTA International doubles event after coming through in a Championship tie-break 4-6 7-5 10-3 against Swede Cornelia Lister and Sabrina Santamaria of the USA. Liverpool’s Ken Skupski is also into the last eight pairs of the ATP Challenger doubles alongside Australian partner John-Patrick Smith as he looks to reclaim his 2017 Nottingham title.