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Dan Evans grateful for Wimbledon chance amid injury concerns and career uncertainty

Dan Evans admits he has been thinking about a future after tennis but is grateful to have another shot at Wimbledon.

The 34-year-old feared the worst when he injured his knee in a fall at Queen's Club last week, but tests showed only a strain and he is confident of taking to the court for a first-round clash against 24th seed Alejandro Tabilo on Tuesday.

"The first few days were pretty stressful getting different opinions," said Evans.

"I didn't think there was a chance with the first opinion and then got a second opinion from a knee specialist, and he was pretty positive and here I am.

"It's pretty positive to get a chance to come back and play here. I don't think it's something you should take for granted."

After Wimbledon, Evans is scheduled to play at the Olympics, where he has entered the doubles with Andy Murray.

It remains to be seen whether Murray will be able to join his compatriot in the draw, with Evans saying: "We spoke the other night. I asked him how he is but he just ignored that question and asked me how I am."

It has been a difficult few months for Evans. A calf injury suffered late last season left him short of match fitness going into 2024 and he has managed only three tour-level wins this season compared to 14 losses.

Even dropping down to the second-tier Challenger Tour has not brought much comfort, with an early loss in Surbiton followed by a quarter-final loss to fellow Briton Charles Broom in Nottingham.

All of which has left Evans mulling over his future, with the Birmingham player saying: "I don't want to be coming back here asking for a wild card. You can remind me of that if I need one next year.

"I've definitely thought about it. It's not an easy thought but, when you're not good enough, I think that's time to let it all go.

"When you get a bit older I think there's a lot more you think about. When I was younger people told me that as well, when you get older different things come into play, and I probably told them, 'yeah, it won't be me'. But it is. If you're not winning enough matches, that's the stark reality of sport."

Evans began practising again on Wednesday and is happy to be playing his first match on Tuesday rather than Monday to give himself a little more time to prepare.

He is substantially lower ranked than Chilean Tabilo, but a lot more experienced on grass and ordinarily could rate his chances highly.

However, those expectations have had to be tempered, with Evans saying: "There's not a lot of tennis in my legs. It's super frustrating because at Queen's I was in a really good spot, but now I have to change that expectation to go out there and give my best and have a good few days now.

"You never know what happens after a set or two sets, you might feel that you're getting there, or not. But hopefully I can play well, and there's no reason why not."

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