Dan Evans reiterates Davis Cup and Leon Smith stance: ‘It’s only fair the captain gets some criticism’

Dan Evans interview

Dan Evans insists questions should be asked about Leon Smith’s captaincy following Great Britain’s failure to reach the knockout stage of the Davis Cup Finals.

Great Britain were beaten by the United States and the Netherlands in the group stage in Glasgow in September with their sole win over Kazakhstan only good enough to help them to finish third.

The US and the Netherlands progressed to the quarter-finals, leaving the 2015 champions to scratch their heads about the missed opportunity.

Evans cut a frustrated figure afterwards as he criticised Smith for once again overlooking him for the doubles with Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury losing ties against the US and the Dutch while Salisbury and Neal Skupski won their rubber against Kazakhstan.

Dan Evans ‘insulted’ by Davis Cup doubles snub: ‘It’s f***** annoying’

And he has again fired a broadside against Smith as he believes the captain “got it wrong”.

“We are good at discussing things when we win but nobody wants to talk about it when we lose,” he said. “The normal LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) response is we will take it on board and review it.

“I just didn’t think it played out as it should, to the best of our possibilities, and some of that is on the captain. I think it’s only fair the captain gets some criticism.

“I don’t think I did anything too wrong, Leon is big enough and old enough to take it. He gets paid well enough, don’t worry about that. He messaged me but I made it clear that I wanted to have a conversation, and that hasn’t happened yet.

“Tennis is business and you can disagree like you do in any area of normal life, I don’t think it’s that big a deal. I’m not against Leon and don’t want to fall out with him, he has done very well as Davis Cup captain, I just made it clear I thought he had got it wrong.

“Everyone tried as hard as they could and I don’t dislike Joe Salisbury because of it or anything. My biggest issue was that they (doubles specialists Salisbury and Neal Skupski) had just come off a trans-Atlantic flight, and had two days practice when others had been there from the Monday.”

To add insult to injury, Great Britain have been handed a difficult qualifying tie for the 2023 Davis Cup as they will face Colombia away in February next year.

Evans is yet to decide if he will play as it comes right after the Australian Open.

“It’s an awkward draw and an awkward tie. We will see what happens in Australia and how I feel, see how Leon feels,” he said. “It has made it more difficult with me speaking up about it, although I thought that was fair.

“I’m not demanding that I play doubles. I’m hoping to play but if Australia doesn’t go well then I might have to go and play on the circuit at the expense of the Davis Cup.”