Dan Evans targets short break from tennis after latest Wimbledon disappointment

Dan Evans targets short break from tennis after latest Wimbledon disappointment

Dan Evans admitted switching off from tennis for a little while would help him get over more first-round disappointment at Wimbledon.

The British number two exited SW19 at the first hurdle for a fifth time in eight main draw appearances following a 6-2 6-3 6-7 (5) 6-4 defeat to France’s Quentin Halys.

Evans was knocked out by Australian Jason Kubler in round one last year and quickly found himself in the familiar position of being two sets down at the All England Club on Monday, but had to return on Tuesday to complete his match.

Daniel Evans walks off after his defeat
Daniel Evans walks off after his defeat (Adam Davy/PA)

Rain produced a further delay and when all of the outside court matches were cancelled, Evans saw his clash moved to Centre Court where he pulled a set back.

But there would be no late-night heroics with Halys able to clinch his place in the second round with a booming forehand winner.

“I think now it’s important to spend time with family, friends. Tennis won’t be on my agenda for a little while,” Evans reflected after an underwhelming grass-court campaign.

“You know, it’s been a long six months or seven months, whatever it is. It’s important to recharge and get ready for a good swing in America, which I enjoy, but it’s important to rest as well. Yeah, that’s all I’m really going to do for a bit and then start back up.

“I think it’s important to totally switch off now. You know, it’s important to step away sometimes, to live a bit of a normal life and get away from living out of a suitcase for a long time.”

World number 30 Evans was at a loss to explain his flat display on Monday against a player who only made his Wimbledon debut in 2022.

After waiting all day to begin his comeback quest, Evans edged a third-set tie-breaker, much to the delight of those still in attendance on Centre Court.

Break points had been hard to come by for the Birmingham right-hander and when he was presented with an opportunity in the seventh game of the fourth set, Evans sent his forehand long and Halys claimed victory with his first match point to inflict a seventh defeat in eight for the 33-year-old home favourite.

Evans added: “I have done nothing different, so yeah it’s disappointing, but, you know, they’re good players out there. I think everyone is guilty of having opinions on certain players you should beat, you shouldn’t beat.

“I think when the draw came out, I must have had that many messages saying, ‘Quentin Halys is a clay court player’. It’s very easy to overlook people.

“They’re all good players on the tour and you have to put them away, that’s what I try and do but if I’m losing, which I am at the minute, you know – I wouldn’t say I’ve hit a wall. It’s frustrating, it’s annoying, it’s whatever.

Dan Evans had pulled one set back
Dan Evans had pulled one set back (Adam Davy/PA)

“But I’m not sure what else you can do. You’ve just got to keep competing. It is no good practising, I tried that. I tried to take Eastbourne off and took Nottingham off, and first round, first round, it’s incredibly frustrating.”

Having not dropped outside of the top-40 since 2020, Evans will hope to bounce back for the hard-court US swing in August.

He will have to spend some of the next few weeks working out his coaching team after splitting with Sebastian Prieto last month.

“I’ve got to look at that,” Evans acknowledged.

“You know, I’ll leave incredibly frustrated after tonight, to work hard and then serve a double at 30-all.

“But like I said previously, it’s important to switch off. When I feel it’s right, I’ll start thinking about it.”