Dan Evans: Leon Smith challenges British number four

Dan Evans
Dan Evans' highest world ranking was 86 in May

Britain's Davis Cup captain Leon Smith has challenged Dan Evans to break into the world's top 30 after climbing 662 places to world number 92 in one year.

Evans, 26, helped Britain win the Davis Cup and collected three ATP Challenger titles in the past 12 months.

"It's a great story but it shouldn't stop here," Smith told BBC Sport.

"It's a learning curve about what it takes, not just to stay at that ranking, but also how to get to the top 70, top 50, or top 30."

Evans has not won a Grand Slam main draw match since 2013, but the British number four has shown that he is capable of performing under pressure at an elite level, having clinched Davis Cup ties against Slovakia and Russia in the last four years.

Before losing in the first round at Queen's Club on Wednesday Evans had also not played in an ATP World Tour event since Eastbourne in 2014.

He quickly gets another chance at the Aegon Open Nottingham event, which starts on Saturday.

Dan Evans
Dan Evans won a Davis Cup tie for the first time against Slovakia in 2012, having lost his previous four matches

And while Evans has not been playing regularly at Tour level in recent times, Smith has still called upon him to produce for his country.

Smith now feels that Evans, who is based at the Nottingham Tennis Centre with coach Mark Hilton, has matured as a player.

"Everyone comes through at their own stage, and he wasn't ready before," Smith said. "He wasn't ready to be at that level every single day and he's made a great jump over the last 12 months.

"There's a lot of learning still to be done, but he's very committed.

"He's got to focus on what he's done well in the past year to get to this point and learn from the bigger tournaments he is playing in more often now.

"This phase of the season is an important period for him to test his game against the best players in the world. He can win matches at this level and we've seen that at the Davis Cup."

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