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Dan Evans ‘not a fan’ of the ATP’s threats against Wimbledon

Dan Evans has revealed his thoughts on the ATP’s ‘threats’ against the LTA to sell the licenses for pre-Wimbledon tournaments if they ban Russian and Belarusian players once again.

Evans played three pre-Wimbledon LTA events last year, including winning an ATP challenger in Nottingham

He was particularly disappointed about the idea of the prestigious ‘Queen’s’ tournament being taken away, saying: “It’s a sad state of affairs if Queen’s wasn’t on.”

The Queen’s Club Championships have been voted as the ATP 500 tournament of the year by the players on four occasions, including 2022.

Evans reached the quarter-finals of the tournament in 2021, and did not hold back on his thoughts about the event being taken away.

“I’m not a fan of the threats,” he said. “The ATP should not throw stones when they live in glass houses.

“Queen’s is one of the best and most prestigious tournaments on the tour, which has done a lot for the ATP Tour in its time.”

The LTA banned Russian and Belarusian players last year from pre-Wimbledon events and Wimbledon itself last year due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, and were consequently fined £830,000 due to ‘discrimination based on nationality’.

Evans, who is the ATP No.28, suggested that he generally thinks the ATP are ‘great’, but disagrees with them on this topic.

“I’m a massive advocate for the ATP generally,” he continued. “They do great things but we have to have sensible conversations.

“I don’t think threatening the LTA with taking away the licence for these events is how it’s going to be resolved.

“It affects all of the Brits. They’re not going to get chances or playing opportunities with a wild card. I think common sense should prevail. The LTA’s hands are tied a little bit as well. This subject goes a bit bigger than tennis federations and governing bodies.”

Although the LTA were fined by the ATP for their stance on Wimbledon, it cannot be threatened in the same way as Queen’s as it is not part of the ATP tour.

It has been reported that the WTA tour has already made approaches to avoid the same thing happening again this year, by offering to half the fine as an incentive to not ban Russian and Belarusian players once again.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.