Dan Evans claims Nature Valley Open title

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Dan Evans kept his winning run going in Nottingham (Tim Goode/PA)

Dan Evans made it back-to-back Challenger Tour titles by winning the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham.

The British number three will climb to 63rd in the rankings on Monday after following up his success in Surbiton last week by going one better than last year, when he lost to Alex De Minaur in the final at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.

Evans has had to battle his opponents and the weather this week, and had to win two matches on Sunday, first defeating Japan’s Go Soeda 6-4 6-2 in the semi-finals before wrapping up a 7-6 (3) 6-3 victory over Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy just before 8pm.

The 29-year-old will now head to Queen’s Club, where he is due to face Stan Wawrinka in the first round of the Fever-Tree Championships.

Evans was unable to serve out the first set against Donskoy but pulled off a couple of superb volleys in the tie-break.

A 4-1 lead in the second set became 4-3 but Evans re-established his break advantage straight away and did not look back.

In the women’s tournament, Caroline Garcia won a fierce battle with Donna Vekic to claim her first WTA Tour title of the season.

The rain that has soaked the event largely stayed away, allowing top seed Garcia to win the final two games of her delayed semi-final against Jennifer Brady and then recover from losing the first four games in a 2-6 7-6 (4) 7-6 (4) victory over Vekic.

Garcia said: “It was such a battle. It was tough to come back from this morning but tennis is about passion and about courage. The fight was kind of crazy.”

Second seed Vekic was looking to win the title for the second time in three years after lifting the trophy in 2017 and she could not hold back the tears in her post-match interview.

“Congrats to Caroline,” she said. “She played an unbelievable match today from the second set and the third set. I’m very, very sad to lose today but I’ll definitely come back next year and hopefully win the trophy again.”

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