Evans fails in US Open bid
6:27am Thursday 21st August 2014 in © Press Association 2014
There will be no US Open heroics from Dan Evans this year after the British number three slumped to a first-round loss in qualifying at Flushing Meadows.
The Birmingham player had a match point in the second set against Jimmy Wang but could not take it and was eventually beaten 4-6 7-6 (11/9) 6-2.
Twelve months ago the mercurial Evans made his major breakthrough by qualifying in New York and going on to reach the third round.
His final match was a thrilling encounter against Tommy Robredo - who went on to beat Roger Federer - that he could and probably should have taken into a fifth set.
Evans has not kicked on as he or those within British tennis would have hoped, the 24-year-old admittedly not helped by a niggling knee injury.
Landing Wang, the 16th seed and world number 132, was a tough first-round draw but Evans battled hard to win the first set and, having let a golden chance to break go by at the start of the second, he dug in admirably.
But he was edged out in the tie-break, Wang saving Evans' match point with an ace and then taking advantage of two poor points from the British player to end the set.
It was Wang who had the momentum going into the decider and Evans never managed to wrestle it back.
The defeat will see Evans' ranking plummet from its current 176 well into the 200s and he must try to find something like his form of last summer to prevent it dropping further.
There was British success from James Ward, who comfortably saw off unheralded Bosnian Aldin Setkic 6-2 6-2 to set up a second-round qualifying clash with France's Vincent Millot.
Ward is at a career-high ranking of 131 after an excellent run on the North American hard courts and will have high hopes of making the main draw in New York for the first time.
The 27-year-old was the only one of five British players to survive the first round, with Dan Smethurst joining Evans in exiting the tournament on Wednesday.