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Evans not adding any pressure following first-round Surbiton thriller

Dan Evans insists he is not putting any added pressure on his shoulders after winning a first-round thriller at the LTA’s Lexus Surbiton Trophy.

The 34-year-old from Birmingham had south-west London hearts in mouths before he came out on top in the third set against Australian Adam Walton, winning 6-4 5-7 7-6 (8).

Evans swapped Roland Garros clay for a familiar grass court, but only started training on the surface on Monday, and clinched the third set to light up the Surbiton stands.

Just Zachary Svajda stands in his way of a place in the quarter-finals, as No.2 seed Evans aims to start his summer season on grass in style.

He said: “For a set and a half I felt pretty in control of the match but he played a good game to break me at the end of the second set, he felt a bit like the favourite from then on in.

“He was retrieving pretty well, when I was coming forward, he was coming back and passing pretty well so I had to really pick my times to come in.

“It’s good to start off with a win but I haven’t been playing so well lately, I’ve lost a few 7-6 in the thirds this year so that was nice to come through.

“I think that’s where it gets tricky when you put expectations on it that can set yourself up to fall from those sorts of matches, you have to stay focused and play the tennis you want to play.

“Some days you get a win and get a bit lucky to save a few match points but then others you come away not winning.”

“It’s important to enjoy winning today, there’s another match tomorrow.”

The 2019 Surbiton winner suffered a surprise second-round defeat last year but knows he has all the experience to go further in 2024.

Following a French Open exit in singles and doubles with Andy Murray, Evans is enjoying navigating the rhythm of the grass on centre court.

On Wednesday’s match, he added: “I thought it was a good performance from both of us, it was a very tough match, not many errors.

“To nick it in the end is a nice feeling and something I’ve not had a lot of this year.

“Matches are very good practice and for me better than any other surface to be on.

“The match court is so important on this surface and getting in a rhythm and routine with other matches.”

For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website

Image: Tom Dulat/Getty Images for LTA

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