Dan Evans was granted a Pune wildcard but he won't be playing at the event after testing positive for COVID-19. Evans has no previous appearances in Pune and he will have to wait at least one more year to make his Pune debut.
“We were very keen to have a world class player in the field but unfortunately Evans tested positive for COVID-19 at the Dubai airport,” said Sunder Iyer, honorary secretary of the MSLTA. The Pune organizers badly wanted to bring Evans to the event.
"We put in a lot of effort to expedite Evans’ visa process and there were many including Rahul Tulpule (former tennis player and brother of Fed Cup player Radhika Tulpule) who worked hard to make it happen,” Iyer said.
“But, as destiny would have it, Evans’ absence has opened up a slot for an Indian in the main draw”.
Evans suffered a disappointing loss at the Australian Open
Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Evans 6-4 6-1 6-1 in the Australian Open third round.
Evans' game completely fell apart after he missed out on a chance to convert a break point in the ninth game of the first set. "I wasn’t in the match to be honest – it was pretty one way. I couldn’t find my game,’ Evans said after the match.
"I had a chance and then it was a small chance at 4-4 and then I panicked on the court, it was total. "I missed my chance and I panicked a bit and that happens in tennis. I’m not going to sit here and say he was too good.
I panicked and I felt that. "So it’s just another chance to learn from that situation and next time maybe go out and look at the court before I play, see what it’s like. "I was obviously, not playing the two days before, I had not seen any crowds, I had been in the locker room, I had been just around the place and then I sort of walked out and it was like, I mean, maybe I made a little mistake there. "But it was, that’s part of tennis, you got to deal with it and he dealt with it way better."