Daniel Evans will join former World No. 1 Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie, Joe Salisbury and Jamie Murray as part of Team Great Britain at the inaugural ATP Cup, to be held in Australia from 3-12 January. Great Britain will compete in Group C in Sydney, facing Belgium, Bulgaria and Moldova.
Evans, who started 2019 at No. 192 in the ATP Rankings and finished the season one spot off his career-high of No. 41, speaks to ATPTour.com about competing at the ATP Cup.
Why are you excited about competing in the ATP Cup?
It’s always an honour to represent your country and I’m pleased I will be taking part in the ATP Cup in its first year. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved over the past 12 months and really hope to begin 2020 in good form and build on my performances for future tournaments. I’m sure that the ATP Cup will be well supported and have an excellent atmosphere. I know I’ll have to be ready immediately to play my best tennis.
Which countrymen did you watch growing up and what did you admire about them?
I watched Tim Henman [who will captain Team Great Britain at the ATP Cup] at lot in his matches at Queen’s Club or Wimbledon, sometimes against Lleyton Hewitt, who I also followed. Tim did so much for British tennis, certainly providing me — and I’m sure many others — with the inspiration to pick up a racquet, have fun and enjoy this healthy sport. He’s travelled a bit more to tournaments this year, so it’s great to have him involved.
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How will you feel playing for Team Great Britain at the ATP Cup?
It’s not hard to get up for matches in front of thousands of people. It gives you confidence being on court and I’ve always felt that when I’ve represented Great Britain, it’s a reward for the hard work I’ve put in and the matches I’ve won. There will always be nerves playing in big matches, but over the past year I’ve played in a lot of ATP tournaments and it’s given me confidence. You have to be confident when you go out on the court, otherwise you give your opponent and edge. These big events give me motivation to work hard, it’s where I want to play. It’s another reason to kick on.
I try and keep my emotions in check regardless of the match, but in team competitions there is responsibility and I don’t like letting down any team I’m a part of. I’m working as hard as I can to be better. It’s great when the crowd get involved, in a good way, as it builds atmosphere and I hope a large British contingent will come to support.
What were your early memories of playing tennis in Great Britain as a kid?
No one in my family played tennis, but my father played squash and I went along with him to the Alton and West Warwick Sports Club in Solihull. That’s where I picked up a tennis racquet and mostly played with friends and at a junior club night on Friday.
It came to me pretty naturally and I just carried on from there. By the age of 12, I was training at an LTA centre and returned home at weekends. I played it at the start for the love of the game and I still love it.