Dan Evans says British tennis ‘papering over cracks’ since Raducanu glory | French Open 2023

nike promo web

new balance
free keto book

Dan Evans has suggested that the success of Emma Raducanu has papered over the cracks in British tennis as an alarmingly low number of players are present in the French Open main draw this year.

Only three British players will compete in singles at Roland Garros and the absence of Raducanu, who is recovering from surgical procedures to her hands and an ankle, means there are no British women in the main draw of a grand slam singles tournament for the first time since 2009.

“They’ve been lucky that they had a grand slam champion and she’s a very good tennis player but the rankings don’t lie, do they? Men’s or women’s, the rankings don’t lie,” said Evans. “Men’s, not many of us playing qualies, not many main draw. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but there’s way further to go than just the top players. It’s from the bottom up.”

See also  Andy Murray relishing Rafa Nadal reunion after five years apart on the court

Ten British players were defeated in the men’s and women’s qualifying rounds at the French Open this week, with none making it to the final round. Only Liam Broady, Jan Choinski and Ryan Peniston were ranked highly enough to play the men’s qualifiers. There are not many more players ranked highly enough to regularly compete in the main draw of ATP Challenger events.

Last year’s grass season was a positive period for British tennis, with numerous lower ranked players taking advantage of wildcards throughout the British tournaments to defeat top-ranked players. Few players have made significant gains since those successes.

“I think the grass last year really helped paper over some cracks as well. There were some good results but if you look at the players who did pretty good on the grass last year, who were wildcards etc, rankings don’t lie. After the grass, there will be a bit of soul searching I imagine,” said Evans. “After their holidays and after the grass, obviously.”

Evans stressed his lack of faith in the Lawn Tennis Association’s pro scholarship programme (PSP), which offers a handful of British players the highest amount of funding based on who the LTA deems most likely to reach the top 100 within five years. Evans believes that the LTA’s considerable financial provisions would be better spread out among a larger number of players.

Cameron Norrie playing on clay
Cameron Norrie will join Dan Evans in the French Open first round. Photograph: Fotografo01/ipa-agency.net/Shutterstock

“Argentina got 12 [actually 13] men in the qualis here. They have no money, they have nothing. Not a federation basically,” said Evans. “We need to make people love tennis, get involved, but if you’re putting five people on PSP, what hope is there for the others? It’s just heartbreaking that a guy next door to you is getting 70 grand or something, but you’re better than him. But a guy with these stats is telling you: ‘No, no, he’s better.’”

skip past newsletter promotion

Asked if the current state of British tennis frustrated or saddened him, Evans’ response was blunt as he recounted a meeting he said he had with the LTA’s former performance director, Simon Timson, shortly after returning from his drugs ban in 2018.

“I couldn’t give a shit about it,” he said. “If you’ve got a guy, Simon Timson, who sat next to me and told me: ‘In all due respect to James Ward here and Heather Watson, I put you three in the same bracket. You are close to finishing your career.’ And I said: ‘Thanks, man.’ And that was that meeting. I seem to have done all right since that meeting. He sent me to a psychologist, that was about it.”

On Sunday, 20th seed Evans will start his campaign against Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia. Elsewhere, Cameron Norrie will arrive at the French Open with concerns about his form after losing 6-3, 6-0 to Francisco Cerundolo in the semi-final of the Lyon Open. Britain’s Jack Draper will play Tomás Etcheverry of Argentina in the first round in Paris.

nike promo web

anti radiation
new balance

Source link

crypto quantum