Dan Evans admits he ‘hated himself’ during 12-month drugs ban, but he eventually moved on
British No 1 Dan Evans has admitted he hated himself during his 12-month drugs ban, saying he was “disgusted with what he did” but eventually moved on.
Evans’ career hit a nadir in 2017 when he was suspended for a year after testing positive for cocaine.
He has turned things around since his return to the game and currently sits at a career-high 28 in the rankings – which have been frozen due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 30-year-old has sought the help of a sports psychologist, who described the tennis player as “one of the angriest people” he had ever spoken to.
“You still reflect on it some days, and think, ‘That was stupid’,” Evans said about his failed drugs test on the My Sporting Mind podcast. “But I don’t look back and hate myself like I did during the ban.
“During some parts of the ban, you’re disgusted with what you did, but you have to move on at some point, there has to be a line under the end of what you’ve done. I just feel grateful for when I get out on the court.
“When I first sat down with the sports psychologist he said I was probably one of the angriest people he had ever spoken to.
“After I came back, he said I had so much pent-up anger from the ban and how I was speaking about things.
“It was just that I had been banned: there is gonna be anger towards yourself and your actions.
“I left social media when it happened. I was worried what my peers would think, and the people watching. But that went away quick. All the players were really good. No one ever said anything to me in a bad way.”
Evans found difficulty on his return to the tour as the All England Lawn and Tennis Club did not give him a wild card into Wimbledon, which saw him have to enter a pre-qualifying event played on school courts.
That fuelled some of the anger that Evans built up.
“Coming back, I had a few issues with trying to get back to play and getting into tournaments, and I wasn’t getting the easiest of help from the people I had helped before,” he added.
“I had played for my country a lot, and they were not so forthcoming with helping me get back into tournaments.
“That’s where the anger came from. It was difficult. But we all sat down and got it out of the way. Luckily I got back on court and that was that.”
Evans has grasped his second chance on tour, assuming the British number one ranking and breaking into the world’s top 30 for the first time.
“If you get another chance, it’s probably your best chance,” he said. “If you don’t take the first one, really go after the second.
“Luckily I have got a good chance now, and I am trying to use it to its full potential.”
Follow us on Twitter @T365Official.
Novak Djokovic ‘has a feeling of revenge within him’ ahead of Roland Garros, says Mats Wilander
Mats Wilander backing Novak Djokovic to win back-to-back French Open titles.
Simona Halep feeling refreshed as she reveals Patrick Mouratoglou ‘helped me to find my love for tennis again’
Simona Halep enjoying her partnership with Patrick Mouratoglou.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova out of French Open and will skip rest of 2022 season due to injury
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova set for lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Rafael Nadal the favourite to win French Open, but Patrick McEnroe is ‘leaning towards’ Novak Djokovic
Patrick McEnroe has his say on the battle for the French Open title.
Emma Raducanu joined by Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens, Jelena Ostapenko at Birmingham event
Quality field set for Rothesay Classic Birmingham.
Daniil Medvedev ‘should be ready for Roland Garros’ as he gives his verdict after Geneva Open defeat
Some positives and some negatives for Daniil Medvedev.
Cameron Norrie continues ‘pretty relaxed and perfect Roland Garros preparation’ with solid run in Lyon
Cameron Norrie into the last eight of the Lyon Open.
Former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova out of Roland Garros after undergoing ‘small surgery’
Marketa Vondrousova withdraws from French Open.
Explainer – Why Wimbledon’s Russian and Belarusian ban has caused a crisis at the heart of tennis
The decision from Wimbledon and the LTA to ban Russian and Belarusian players has divided opinion.
Stefanos Tsitsipas praises ‘great champion’ Novak Djokovic: ‘He’s like a Formula 1 car’
Stefanos Tsitsipas lavish in his praise of Novak Djokovic.