June 20, 2018 / 10:36 AM / a month ago

No Wimbledon wildcard for Evans on return from ban

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s former top-50 player Dan Evans was left off Wimbledon’s wildcard list on Wednesday following his recent return from a one-year ban for cocaine use.

Tennis - ATP International - Nature Valley Open - Nottingham Tennis Centre, Nottingham, Britain - June 13, 2018 Britain's Dan Evans in action during his second round match against Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Evans, who reached a career-high 41 last year shortly before announcing he had tested positive for cocaine at the Barcelona Open, was not even handed a wildcard into next week’s qualifying tournament held at Roehampton.

The 28-year-old could still end up in the main draw although he would have to go through pre-qualifying.

Evans, now ranked 340, has shown good form since his return and reached the final of the Nottingham Challenger last week where he lost to Australia’s Alex de Minaur.

He was given a wildcard into this week’s Queen’s Club tournament but lost in the first round to Adrian Mannarino.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray had been outspoken about Evans’ doping ban and was asked on Tuesday whether he thought his Davis Cup team mate should be given a wildcard into the grasscourt Grand Slam.

“It’s a difficult one. He’s obviously played extremely well the last few weeks in terms of his level and stuff. He deserves it,” Murray said. “Whether or not it’s the right message to be sending, I don’t know, but then some would say he’s obviously served his time and should be given a second chance.”

De Minaur was one of three wildcards named for the men’s draw, along with Britain’s Jay Clarke and Liam Broady.

Six British players have been handed wildcards into the women’s main draw. Five men’s wildcards and one women’s are still up for grabs.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Alison Williams

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