BRITISH No2 Dan Evans has revealed he is battling through the pain barrier in his desperation to play in home tournaments this summer after he stunned former world No8 Jurgen Melzer in the first round of the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club.
Evans is suffering with a long-standing knee injury and intends to take time off following the grass court season, but appeared in good health on his way to a 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 victory over Melzer, ranked 88 places above him.
Victory too for compatriot James Ward ensured an excellent opening day of the grass court season for British tennis and Evans hopes his injury will not curtail his progress.
“If it wasn’t the grass I would probably be resting up,” said the 24-year-old, who takes on No7 seed Kevin Anderson on centre court in today’s second round match.
“I especially like playing in Britain, especially when you’re given a lot of opportunities. It’s only right that you pay that back by digging in and trying to win matches.”
Ward is set to take on No4 seed Grigor Dimitrov today in west London, following his 7-5, 6-4 first-round victory against Slovenia’s Blaz Rola. No14 seed Jeremy Chardy was the highest ranked first round casualty, with defeat to 2010 champion Sam Querrey of United States in three sets.