Defending champion accepts wildcard entry

Dan Evans, the 2019 Nottingham Open winner, has replaced twice Wimbledon champion Andy Murray for the grass court tournament with the world no.27 the overwhelming favourite to claim the title.

Evans suffered a 1st Round exit from the French Open, beaten 1-6 6-3 6-3 6-4 by Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic. The 31-year-old, who has never won in the main draw at Roland Garros, had enjoyed his best ever season on clay before that it came crashing down in Paris.

Although the Birmingham 31-year-old had originally expressed his reluctance to sign up to another coronavirus bubble event, he had a change of heart after the Grand Slam blow.

Evans, who was given a year-long drugs ban from the sport after he was found to have taken cocaine, almost captured the 2018 Nottingham Open title on his return to the ATP Tour. But he fell to 7-6(4) 7-5 to Australian Alex de Minaur in the final.

The following season Birmingham-born and -based Evans went one step better by seeing off Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy 7-6(5) 6-3 to claim the ATP Challenger title at the Nottingham Tennis Centre, and duly followed his success on grass by battling it to the 3rd Round at Wimbledon.

Evans is the top seed for the Nottingham Open, and will be brimming with confidence as he surprisingly won his maiden ATP Tour title earlier this year. He saw off Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime to win the Murray River Open in Melbourne, a warm-up event for the Australian Open. This was no mean feat to claim the crown as the tournament also featured two top 20 players, namely Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov and Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka.

Titles seem an almost impossible task nowadays for Scottish veteran Murray, who has shelved his plans to compete at Nottingham. He is preparing for Wimbledon by competing at Queen’s Club in London instead. The 34-year-old, who has not played a competitive match since March, has been nursing a groin injury and skipped the French Open where he would have had to participate in the qualifiers.

At Nottingham this year the British contingent includes a pair of wildcards in the shape of Jay Clarke (world no.229) and Ryan Peniston (no.383).

Aside from Evans, the only players inside the world’s top 100 to compete at the Nottingham Open are USA’s France Tiafoe (no.73), Italy’s Andreas Seppi (no.93) and South Africa’s Kevin Anderson (no.96).

Fans will be able to tune in to eight days of live coverage from the Nottingham Open, with Centre Court matches shown daily on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport.

BBC coverage (BST)
Sunday 6 June (11.55am-5pm)
Monday 7 June (2.55pm-7pm)
Tuesday 8 June (11.55am-3pm)
Wednesday 9 June (2.55pm-7pm)
Thursday 10 June (11.55am-5pm)
Friday 11 June (2.55pm-7pm)
Saturday 12 June (11.55am-3pm)
Sunday 13 June (12.55pm-3pm)