No year in the tennis career of Daniel Evans has ever been boring. No-one could accuse the Solihull native of lack of narrative through his career.
Daniel Evans in 2019
A surprisingly swift rise back through the rankings
If Evans had been told the day after he received his suspension from the sport for recreational drug use in 2017 that at the end of 2019 he would be ranked British #1 and leading his country to the Davis Cup semifinals then he may have questioned the drug use of the person telling him that!
Federer twice the scourge of Evans in the 2019 Grand Slams
There wasn’t a great deal of success to speak of for Evans in the Grand Slams. He did at least progress at least a round in each of the main draws, except in Paris. However, the amount of ranking points given out at the Slams really helped his ranking, having missed all of them in 2018.
Success on the Challenger Tour key to progress
There were no titles on the main tour for Evans in 2019, but the Briton did very well in the early hardcourt tournaments to re-establish his position inside the top 100. Evans was very close to an ATP title in February when reaching the final in Delray Beach, losing in a third-set tie-break to Radu Albot.
The rest of his real success came on the Challenger Tour. There was an early season final in Quimper but it wouldn’t be until the grass-court season that Evans would be able to lift a trophy. Evans had an excellent two weeks at Surbiton and Nottingham, winning ten matches in a row to record back-to-back titles and lift his ranking to just outside the top 50.
End of season fade
The end of the season was disappointing, however. Despite the honour of leading Great Britain in the new Davis Cup Evans struggled in the#1 role. Britain mainly relied on #2 players Andy Murray and, particularly, Kyle Edmund, as they progressed to the semifinals. In fact, Evans finished the 2019 season winning only three matches from his last ten.
Evans turns 30 in 2020, if the Briton is to breakthrough and win some big titles then time is beginning to be against him. His determination and work-rate have often been in question throughout his career, the time surely has to be now or never for Evans to win.
Main Photo from Getty.