I could go on with the chant, the second day would involve two grand slam third rounds. You get the picture? Possibly not. Enough of my weird bullshit.
British number one. It sounds great, doesn’t it? It is no more than he deserves too. Evo said that he sees Muzza as the British Number One and I don’t think many would disagree with that when looking at the bigger picture. It does however currently do him a disservice, especially with his rise back up the charts.
Let’s have this right, Evans has got himself back to forty-two in the world just one place of his career-high and will be looking to surpass that in January. He started 2019 at 192 on the list, from all the way back at 1195 in May 2018. I have said it before and I will say it again – the rise has been sensational and it is no exaggeration to say most would fail given the same circumstances. Am I biased? Yes, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Great effort.
It was a pretty productive season in my mind. Two back to back grass-court titles at Surbiton and Nottingham. A tour final appearance in Delray, where he lost in a photo finish to Radu Albot. Two third-round appearances at Wimbledon and the US and helping Great Britain to the semis of the Davis Cup. It is worth mentioning that there were a few main tour quarter-finals to throw in the mix too. There was also one of the shots of the season against Jurij Rodionov in the Aussie Open qualies, where he made his way to the second round of the main draw.
The best news is that there is room for improvement in results. Evans will have very few points to defend after the US next year and the indoor courts are a surface that the Brit generally thrives on. I could be totally wrong but I thought the exertions of a long year playing and travelling were starting to show towards the end of the season. The ATP website says Evo played 26 events but with my count including Davis Cup, it’s 29. There aren’t too many players in the top 50 that played more than that.
The search for a last 16 at Wimbledon or that illusive quarter-final (that I mentioned in my blog In Evo we trust. Let’s ‘ave it!) will be a target I’m sure. We were so close last time out where fine margins against Joao Sousa prevented a fourth-round crack at Nadal. Representing his country will also be at the forefront of his mind, starting straight away with the ATP Cup. I am not always known for my patriotism these days, especially when it comes to Football and 13 years working as a tennis odds compiler knocked a fair bit of that out of me in a results-driven business at times too. Even though I don’t have to worry about that now, the point I am making is that I would still support the group of lads that played Davis Cup over in Madrid whatever. They make you want to support them. That might sound off subject slightly but obviously, Evans is a big part of the squad.
We always know that there is a chance of a run at the slams. I am buzzing about the start of the season to see if he can at least match his fourth-round appearance from a few years ago in Melbourne. It is less than a month away now. Well up for that.
All that remains is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Andy Del Potro