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Dan Evans informed by Wimbledon about possible wild card entry

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Dan Evans will have to go through pre-qualifying after Wimbledon opted not to hand the former top-50 player a wild card either into the main draw or qualifying.

The 28-year-old has been in excellent form since returning from a 12-month ban following a positive test for cocaine, winning 10 of his 13 matches on grass, making him comfortably the most successful British player on the surface so far this year.

In acting on principle, Wimbledon has followed in the footsteps of the French Open, which declined to offer two-time former champion Maria Sharapova a wild card last year on her return from a 15-month doping suspension.

Unlike Sharapova, Evans does still have a route available into the tournament and he will take to the courts of Aorangi Park on Thursday with the other lower-ranked British hopefuls in an attempt to earn a wild card into next week’s qualifying tournament.

He would need to win six matches to reach the main draw.

The outcome is what Evans expected, with the Birmingham player responding on Sunday to a suggestion his good form could earn him a chance by saying: “I’ve had easily the worst past of any British player. They’ve got their criteria. If I don’t fit it, I don’t fit it.”

Speaking about Evans’ chances on Tuesday, Andy Murray, who has been a vocal critic of players who fall foul of the anti-doping system, offered qualified support to his colleague, saying: “He’s played extremely well the last few weeks. In terms of his level and stuff, he deserves it.

“Whether or not it’s the right message to be sending, I don’t know, but then some would say he’s obviously served his time and should be given a second chance.”

While Evans was overlooked, eight British players have been awarded wild cards into the main draw with a further 10 given places in qualifying.

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Nineteen-year-old Jay Clarke will make his debut at the championships, which begin on July 2, and is joined in the men’s draw by Liam Broady and Australian teenager Alex de Minaur, who beat Evans to win the title in Nottingham last week.

It has been a good year for the up-and-coming British women and six players have been given main draw wild cards. Gabi Taylor, Harriet Dart and Katy Dunne will all make their debuts and are joined by Naomi Broady, Katie Boulter and Katie Swan.

Among those given chances in qualifying are Davis Cup stalwart James Ward and seven teenagers, including 15-year-olds Holly Fischer and Emma Raducanu and 16-year-old Jack Draper, the son of former Lawn Tennis Association chief executive Roger Draper.

There is no place, though, for former junior champion Laura Robson, now down at 330 in the rankings.

Among the recipients of wild cards into the doubles, meanwhile, are Australian pair Alex Bolt and Lleyton Hewitt, the 2001 singles champion who has again come out of retirement this summer.

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Topics:
Wimbledon
Tennis

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