Dan Evans and Edwards Corrie’s dreams of reaching the second round of Wimbledon qualifying were dashed at the hands of two seeds this afternoon despite a valiant effort from both the British players.
Any aspirations Evans may have held to emulate his Queen’s success were shattered by 31-year-old Daniel Munoz-de la Nava 1-6, 6-3, 2-6 in a contest that saw the Briton momentarily display flashes of the sparkling tennis that helped him reach the third round of the Aegon Championships last week.
Admittedly, it took a while for the British Davis Cup player clad in canary yellow and white, to find his feet. Broken twice in the opening set, Evans looked despondent as he struggled to contend with the barrage of blistering ground-strokes and attacking net play served up by his experienced Spanish opponent.
It wasn’t long before Evans found himself on the on the wrong end of a 1-6 score line but by the second set the 23-year-old wild card had regained his composure, capitalising on the No.25 seed’s momentary lapses of concentration. Evans’ serve still troubled him - he was broken twice – but pocketed the set all the same.
Even so, there was a distinct sense the Briton would need to up his game in the deciding set to emerge triumphant.He didn’t. Evans difficulties on serve persisted – broken twice he threw his racquet and muttered in despair – while the 147 world ranked Spaniard simply grew in confidence proceeding to serve out the match with an ace.
Munoz-de la Nava admitted his mind had wandered during the encounter: “In the second set I lost a bit of concentration and the intensity,” he told www.wimbledon.com. “He was much more aggressive, wasn’t making mistakes and was playing much better.”
“I started really good in the first game of the third set, serving really good which is very important on this surface and then I was playing solid and on the important points I played aggressive and I went to the net sometimes.”
Over on Court 16 British compatriot Edward Corrie was locked in an endurance battle with No. 9 seed Illya Marchenko, who at 120 in the world is ranked 216 places above him. Not that one could tell - the duel fought was equally matched in terms of power, accuracy, shot selection and even decibel levels. However, it was Marchenko who eventually emerged the victor serving out the match on his second attempt 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 in two hours and 19 minutes.
“It was not my best match but I win so I’m happy,” Marchenko said. “I had a bit lack of focus in the second set. It was difficult for me to engage myself for a fight for every point so I gave him a lot of free points, important points I missed that second set and in the third one it was not easy to fight against him because he felt that he can win the match, he can make it, so it was not easy.”
Another British wild card to fall at the first hurdle was Joshua Ward Hibbert who lost to Alex Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-4. However, compatriot David Rice, ranked 465, sailed through his encounter with Germany’s Sebastian Rieschick to win 6-3, 6-2 in only 53 minutes.