Wimbledon 2018: Britain's Dan Evans not awarded wildcard

Dan Evans
Dan Evans reached the final of the Nottingham Challenger event last week
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
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Britain's Dan Evans has not been awarded a Wimbledon wildcard after he served a ban for taking cocaine.

It means the 28-year-old must play in this week's pre-qualifying tournament.

The former world number 41 has been in fine form since his return in April and was runner-up in the Nature Valley Open final in Nottingham on Sunday.

There were main-draw wildcards for eight Britons, including Katie Boulter, but Laura Robson did not make either the qualifying or main-draw list.

'Decision based on principle'

Evans could prove difficult opposition for other players involved in pre-qualifying, having won 16 of his 21 matches since returning from his ban.

But his good form, which has lifted him to 340th in the world rankings, has not been enough to persuade Wimbledon organisers to award him a wildcard.

All England Club sources say the decision was based on a matter of "principle".

Evans was given a wildcard for this week's Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club, where he lost in three sets to France's Adrian Mannarino in the first round on Tuesday.

Boulter rewarded for biggest win

Boulter, who secured the biggest win of her career last week when she beat former US Open champion Sam Stosur in Nottingham, is joined by Naomi Broady, Harriet Dart, Katy Dunne, Katie Swan and Gabriella Taylor in the main draw.

British number five Taylor, ranked 182 in the world, unexpectedly made headlines when a mystery illness forced her to withdraw from the girls' singles at Wimbledon in July 2016.

She spent four days in intensive care at Southampton General Hospital and claims she had been poisoned were investigated by police.

The 20-year-old told BBC Radio Solent: "It wasn't the best moment of my life for that to occur, or the place, but from then on I've moved forward. I'm so happy to be out competing and playing the game I love the most."

Compatriots Liam Broady and Jay Clarke were given men's main-draw wildcards, while Australian teenager Alex de Minaur - who beat Evans in the Nottingham final - also received one.

But there was no wildcard for either qualifying or the main draw for Robson, who won British hearts 10 years ago with the junior Wimbledon title but has struggled with injuries in recent years.

Australian former Wimbledon singles champion Lleyton Hewitt, who has come out of retirement this year to play in doubles, received a wildcard for the men's doubles.

Analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Twelve months ago, Maria Sharapova found herself in a similar position as she returned from suspension. She announced on her website she would not be requesting a wildcard into the main draw, in the knowledge the response from the All England Club was very likely to be negative.

There is no doubt Evans' recent form on grass would normally attract some sort of wildcard. He has performed magnificently since his return, and the other British players involved in pre-qualifying will not want to see him in their half of the draw.

All the British players offered main draw wildcards are within the top 250 in the world - including a promising batch of women who are mostly in their very early 20s.

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