Dan Evans fighting through knee problem as he prepares to play at Wimbledon
Last Updated: 09/06/14 11:28pm
Dan Evans has revealed he is having to play through the pain barrier due to a long-term knee injury, but is determined to play at Wimbledon at all costs.
The British No 2 sustained the injury to his left knee last September and has required painkillers to manage the problem.
I especially like playing in Britain. You're given a lot of opportunities, I think it's only right you sort of pay it back, digging in and trying to win the matches.
The 139th-ranked Evans came through a testing three set encounter against seasoned professional Jurgen Melzer 6-3 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/2) to reach the second round at Queen's Club on Monday.
And although the 24-year-old is optimistic he won't need an operation, he admitted he wouldn't be risking making his injury worse if it wasn't for the appeal of playing on home soil.
"You want to play your home tournaments," Birmingham-born Evans said. "I especially like playing in Britain. You're given a lot of opportunities, I think it's only right you sort of pay it back, digging in and trying to win the matches.
"Obviously Wimbledon is the tournament you want to win the matches in because there are more points there.
"Second, third round, fourth round of Wimbledon (would be) pretty good. Winning some matches in Wimbledon will definitely be a goal."
With the news that Evans' Davis Cup team-mate Andy Murray has hired former two-time Grand Slam champion Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach, Evans admitted he wasn't surprised at all by his decision.
"She's got a pretty good CV I'd say. He obviously thought she was the right person for the job and happened to be a female.
"Maybe a few (other players) will start hiring female coaches if he starts winning Grand Slams.
"As long as he's happy, then British tennis is in a good place I reckon."
Evans will now face seventh-seed South African Kevin Anderson in the second round.
Meanwhile, British No 3 James Ward, believes he is beginning to reap the benefits of working with new coach, Australian Darren Tandy, following a solid run at the French Open and victory over Slovenia's Blaz Ro at Queen's.
Ward became the first British man since John Lloyd in 1973 to come through qualifying at Roland Garros before going out to Spanish 17th seed Tommy Robredo.
"Obviously it was great," said the Londoner. "Everyone has been taking a little bit more interest since then. I beat two good players in qualifiers and took Robredo to four sets.
"It was a tough draw, but it was also a good experience and one that will help me in the next few weeks, I'm sure.
"Having (Tandy) about every day makes you stick to good habits. Hearing someone's voice and picking you up on what you need to be doing, it's definitely a big help."