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Davis Cup ace set to challenge for Ilkley title
British Davis Cup hero Dan Evans is one of the leading entrants at next week’s AEGON GB Pro Series event at Ilkley.
Evans, who is 22 later this month, defeated much higher-ranked top-100 players Martin Klizan and Lukas Lacko as the Slovak Republic were beaten 3-2 in Glasgow in February.
However, the Birmingham-born world No 377 is not the top seed at the JM Glendinning Group Ilkley International Tournament.
That honour goes to fellow countryman Josh Goodall, who has already won three tournaments of similar stature this year indoors in Germany, Switzerland and Greece in boosting his world ranking to 220.
Goodall, 26, is also going for an Ilkley hat-trick, having won in 2010 and 2011, and also gained quite a bit of publicity in his first-round men's singles defeat at Wimbledon last week.
Basingstoke-based Goodall, who has now won 16 tournaments at Futures level, confessed to naming his racquets after players from his favourite football team - Chelsea.
British No 4 Goodall said after his 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 defeat to Grega Zemlja: “I need to do it because I need to know what racquets are which.
“It’s not just a stupid thing I am doing. I used Torres. Maybe that’s where it went wrong!”
The second seed is 6ft 8in 21-year-old Frenchman Albano Olivetti, whose favourite shot is, not surprisingly, his serve.
He is ranked 305, while third seed is Australian Michael Look, 24, who is world-ranked 367.
Although there are also players from Mexico, New Zealand, Italy and Spain in the leading 18 players for the grass-court event, the vast majority are British.
They include British entrants include Dan Cox, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Edward Corrie, last year's doubles winner Sean Thornley, Lewis Burton, Marcus Willis and Neil Pauffley.
Among the withdrawals are David Rice, runner-up, to Goodall for the past two years who won the doubles with Thornley in 2011, former winner Richard Bloomfield, Ilkley member Clay Crawford, Joshua Milton and world No 258 Matt Reid (Australia).
Players from over 30 countries are in the main draw or the qualifying as they battle for precious world-ranking points, and qualifying starts on Sunday (11am).
The men’s singles final is scheduled for Saturday, July 14 (1pm), and tournament director Caroline Buncall says: “We are delighted to have such a strong entry this year, and to host players from so many different countries.
“This event has a great history - and we are anticipating some great action this year.”