British No.1 and seeded 16 at this year’s Citi Open, Dan Evans brought Kyle Edmund’s return to the Tour following injury, to an abrupt end by ousting his fellow compatriot 6-1 6-2 in round two in Washington.
It’s just nice to see him back. He’s nowhere near where he probably wants to be. He’s a great player and I’m just really happy to see him back Dan Evans
Edmund, 27, who was playing his first Tour level event since October 2020 when he was forced off-court with a left knee injury which subsequently required three operations, prompted Evans to comment that he was happy to see his countryman returning and that he shouldn’t be judged too harshly for the loss as he isn’t nearly near his best.
“It’s just nice to see him back,” Evans said on-court after beating Edmund. “He’s nowhere near where he probably wants to be. He’s a great player and I’m just really happy to see him back.
“He works super hard, he puts it out there day after day and he’s had a frustrating two years.”
While Edmund is keen to see whether his knee can take the pressure, he also admits to wanting to secure some solid results during the US hard court swing.
“Physically it would be nice to come away with a positive outlook saying I played five tournaments, was on the road for eight weeks, the knee was tested a lot because of the level of tennis and the physicality and if it responds well, I’ll be happy with that.
“Naturally, yeah I want some results thrown in there, but just being back on the Tour week in, week out, is more the priority,” Edmund revealed.
Meanwhile, Evans has progressed into the last 16 at Washington where he will face the winner of the match between America’s Taylor Fritz and Australia’s Alexei Popyrin.
Also through to the last 16 is the top seed and No. 8-ranked Andrey Rublev who cruised past Britain’s Jack Draper, 6-4 6-2.
Rublev, a former Washington semi-finalist (2018) is looking for his fourth Tour title of the season after winning earlier this year in Marseille, Dubai and Belgrade.
“I was really, really like afraid that it’s going to be super-tough match today, because it’s hard court, and the way he serves, the way he hits the ball, it’s even tougher to bring the balls back,” Rublev said. “But I’m really happy that I was able to win in straight sets.”
And Nick Kyrgios bad knee is obviously on the mend. Last week he was forced to withdraw from the Atlanta singles but continued in the doubles which he then won in partnership with his friend Thanasi Kokkinakis.
This week, having won the title in 2019, the Aussie is back playing singles and opened his account with a solid 59-minute 6-3 6-2 victory over American Marcus Giron.