SOLIHULL’s Dan Evans is determined to make the most of his experience on Centre Court against Roger Federer by returning next year a better player.
The 26-year-old had progressed through to the third round of Wimbledon thanks to impressive victories over Alexendr Dolgopolov in straight sets (7-6, 6-4, 6-1) and German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-7 7-6 7-5.
But 17-time grand slam winner Federer proved to much for Evans after the Swiss player breezed past the Brit in straight sets last Friday.
Evans came into Wimbledon having never progressed past the the third round and continue his rise up the rankings.
“To come and get a win at Wimbledon was good. That was sort of the first goal, to get through the first round. Then obviously it’s done pretty good for my ranking. I want to come back next year with pretty good intentions. I don’t see why I can’t go a bit further.
“I’m in a pretty good position. That’s what the last three, four months was the goal, to come out of the summer being a main‑draw player in these events.
“It’s good for my game to get practice in with these guys day in, day out. Especially playing the matches, that’s how you improve. That’s really, like, my goal now is to kick on again.
“I’m pretty proud of what I’ve done. I want everybody else, like, to know, Willis, people like that, what he’s done this week, it’s such a good thing for tennis in Britain. Hopefully there are juniors out there thinking, That could be me.
“Obviously everyone dreams about playing Federer on Centre Court. Two Brits got a chance this year. Should be inspiration for a lot of people. It’s inspiration for me that I got a chance to play him. I want that again, to play other good players on those courts.”
Evans’ match against Federer proved to a one-sided affair with the world number three winning 6-2, 6-2 6-2 on a packed Centre Court, and Evans admits it was a different experience coming up against one of the greatest players to play the sport.
“It was very different to what I am used to. It was just an amazing experience just to play him. I don’t think I played too bad, I just didn’t serve very well. I enjoyed it.
“Everyone knows how good he is. When I sat here the other day and said I could get a drum in, I did. The main thing was to try and remember it.
“I will never forget playing him on Centre Court. I’ll treasure every memory I made on that court. I’ll go home and I probably will think about it. I’d like to think the people who watched it, as well, enjoyed it, who come to watch me.
“It won’t be the last time I get on a good court I don’t think, hopefully. I just want to be in these tournaments every time one of these tournaments come around. I want to be in the main draw.”
Evans’ route to the third round of Wimbledon has earned him a place in Leon Smith’s Great Britain Davis Cup tie against Serbia later this month.
Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Kyle Edmund and Dom Inglot have also been selected for the round-two tie in Belgrade from July 15-17.
“I want to represent my country. Whatever surface it’s on, I’ll give my best. If I’m asked to do it, I’ll do it, for sure.
“I love playing Davis Cup. They’re the sort of things and moments I want to be involved in more.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, really. It’s a bit different here. You don’t see much of anyone. It should be good fun.”
PHOTOS COURTESY OF WIMBLEDON.CO.UK