Over the past couple of decades, British tennis has relied heavily on Andy Murray to handle the weight of expectation. On several occasions, the 34-year-old rose to the challenge, lifting the Wimbledon title in 2013 and 2016. Now, however, the three-time Grand Slam winner is struggling to stay fit, thus opening the door for the next generation to come through. As such, Dan Evans seemingly represents the UK’s best chance of winning another Grand Slam. So, let’s consider if the 31-year-old can replicate Murray’s success.
Striving to Mirror Murray’s Success
At the time of writing, Evans is 27th in the ATP rankings, just three spots behind the three-time Grand Slam winner, Stan Wawrinka. However, unlike the Swiss professional, the 31-year-old has yet to reach a major final. Because of that, he’ll be hoping to give a good account of himself on home soil at the next opportunity, and he is 100/1 in tennis betting to lift the 2021 Wimbledon title. Although the Birmingham-born right-hander will enter as an underdog, he could be seen as a dark horse in the tennis betting tips, so fellow competitors shouldn’t take him lightly.
Like Murray, Evans, who is now the top-ranked British player, appears to struggle with the pressure of playing in front of a home crowd. Since 2009, the 31-year-old has participated in five Wimbledon competitions. Thus far, the Birmingham-born right-hander’s best result at the competition is a third-round exit, which he achieved in 2016 and 2019. By comparison, it took Murray some time to find his best form in London, failing to get beyond the fourth round at his first two attempts. After that, the Glasgow-born champion reached three semi-finals over the next five years.
Beating Top-Ranked Players Isn’t Beyond Him
To date, Evans currently has one singles title to his name. In February 2021, the 31-year-old lifted the Murray River Open 250 Series crown, beating Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets. Not only that, but the right-hander also played his part in Britain’s Davis Cup success in 2015. Because of that, he’s no stranger to playing in high-stakes events and in pressure situations, which will serve him well in future Grand Slam events.
Aside from needing to handle pressure, Evans has shown that he can beat the sport’s top-ranked players. In April 2021, the 31-year-old faced off against Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo Masters, and the Englishman recorded the best victory of his career, beating the 18-time Grand Slam winner in straight sets. Aside from defeating the world number one, Evans also has wins over Dominic Thiem, John Isner, and Marin Cilic. This shows that when the right-hander puts his game together, he can compete with the very best.
Evans Needs Consistency
Few can argue that Evans isn’t a talented player on the professional circuit. His problem, however, is a lack of consistency, which needs to be addressed if he is to start seriously challenging the top players. In beating Djokovic, the Englishman has shown the tennis world that he’s not someone to be taken lightly. That said, following in Murray’s footsteps and winning at Wimbledon isn’t a straightforward task, but reaching the latter stages isn’t beyond the Birmingham-born right-hander.