Kyle Edmund falls at final hurdle to rival Dan Evans in Battle of the Brits

Dan Evans dominated his domestic rival Kyle Edmund to claim victory in the Battle of the Brits exhibition event at Roehampton.

Yorkshire player Kyle Edmund. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

The 30-year-old Evans lived up to his reputation as the nation’s No 1 by going unbeaten through the round-robin singles tournament, culminating in an emphatic 6-3 6-2 final win.

Evans made an immediate impression by breaking Yorkshire’s Edmund in the opening game of the match and although he was immediately broken back, he continued to retain the ascendancy.

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A long forehand from Edmund handed Evans his second break in the fifth game of the set and it proved enough for the favourite – now ranked a career-high 28 in the world – to see out the first set.

Edmund rallied at the start of the second, breaking Evans immediately only to lose his serve straight away and enable Evans to once again seize the upper hand.

A dazzling cross-court winner helped Evans win a marathon sixth game of the set to take a 4-2 lead and there was no looking back as he duly broke Edmund again to love to wrap up his victory.

Although it will not make the official head-to-head record, it was also Evans’s first tournament win over Edmund, who had won their two previous meetings in Monaco and Eastbourne respectively.

Paying tribute to the officials who staged the unique social-distancing tournament, Evans said: “I wasn’t sure how it was going to be but it literally felt like a tournament event.

“The players have been raving about the tournament all week. It’s been a great week and hopefully we can all do it again.”

Earlier, James Ward failed to make the most of having Andy Murray in his corner as he lost the third-place play-off 6-3 7-5 to Cam Norrie.

Ward stepped in late to replace Murray, who was beaten by Evans in their semi-final on Saturday and pulled out as a precautionary measure due to a sore shin.

Murray said: “I’m OK – it’s just that this week is by far the most I’ve done in seven months.

“One of the shins has been an issue and it’s a bit sore, so best not to risk it.”