British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith backs Dan Evans to break into the world’s top 20 this summer

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British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith backs Dan Evans to break into the top 20 of the world this summer, despite the impressive clay court run coming to an end at the Barcelona Open

  • The British No. 1 was unable to continue his excellent form on clay on Wednesday
  • A tired Evans lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in a tough encounter against Corentin Moutet from France
  • Smith says the 30-year-old can build on his good run and break into the top 20

Dan Evans’ Andy Murray-esque work ethic should lead him to the top 20 this summer, according to British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith.

Regardless of his results on clay, there will be a dividend for him to reap when the tour moves to Wimbledon and the US hard court.

Tired after making surprising runs to the singles semifinals and doubles finals in Monte Carlo last week, Evans lost 6-4 4-6 6-3 yesterday in a tough encounter with French Corentin Moutet at the Barcelona Open.

British number 1 Dan Evans was unable to continue his excellent form on clay on Wednesday

Smith said during a Lawn Tennis Association performance briefing: “ It took time, but he will gain so much confidence no matter what happens in the clay court season now. It will benefit him whether he achieves more good results on clay courts or whether it flourishes on the grass or on the American hard court swing.

He’s moving in such a good direction. I can say firsthand that he recently spent a few weeks with him in Miami, that his operating standards are unreal, so good, both on the field and off it. He ticks every box and gives himself the best chance to perform at a high level. ‘

Since the start of last season, the 30-year-old Midlander has amassed an impressive record of 11-9 games over the top twenty players.

“When people are able to beat the top 20 or top 10, you know their ceiling is higher because they have the ability to beat players because of their skill level,” he added.

Evans lost to France's Corentin Moutet in a wispy match in the second round at the Barcelona Open

Evans lost to France’s Corentin Moutet in a wispy match in the second round at the Barcelona Open

On a broader basis, Smith has called for more ranking tournaments to be held in the UK to help aspiring British pros as soon as the Covid situation allows for a resumption of a more normal calendar.

“We would like more tournaments,” he said. ‘The number of Futures in particular (the lowest level of the circuit) has declined over the past ten or fifteen years. game, as well as domestic money events. ‘

Italian Fabio Fognini was declared in default at the Barcelona Open yesterday for insulting a line judge.

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