Tennis Star Evan focused on the future after Wimbledon
Llanelli ace Hoyt targets more success after winning Sir Andy’s support with superb run at Wimbledon
THIS time last year Evan Hoyt had just finished playing a tournament in Penarth.
His body, which had so often failed him in the past, had mended but his world ranking was so low as to be invisible. The idea of him playing at Wimbledon was, quite frankly, preposterous.
Twelve months later here we are. Hoyt is now a member of the tournament’s ‘Last 8 Club’ having made it through to the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles, where he lost 7-5 7-6 alongside partner Eden Silva to the reigning French Open champions Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan on Thursday.
Although the 24-year old from Llanelli failed to qualify for the men’s singles, that in itself is no shame.
Twelve months ago he wouldn’t have come within a country mile of even making it into the qualifying competition, which takes place the week before Wimbledon starts in nearby Roehampton.
This time he was there because he deserved to be, albeit losing a titanic match 7-6 7-6 to the Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva.
Now the Welshman aims to build on his Wimbledon experience so that he can get back there again, preferably in singles, rather than having to play in Penarth, with all due respect to Penarth.
On Friday Hoyt flew to Canada where he’ll be playing in Ottawa this week. Then the North American road trip will continue to Challenger tournaments in Montreal, Kentucky and California, all in search of points that will take him up the ATP men’s singles rankings.
In July 2018 Hoyt, who struggled for years with back and shoulder problems, was outside the top 1,000. Over the coming weeks, having clocked up an awful lot of wins over the past few months, he should climb to somewhere between 300 and 350.
That’s highly unlikely to be good enough to make it into the qualification tournament for the US Open at the end of August.
But then that’s not Hoyt’s immediate aim.
“You’ve got to have some sort of vision of where you’re going, otherwise you just end up winging it,” he says. “I have outcome goals that I want to achieve, and then I also have technical and tactical goals which I’m working on daily on the court.
“I’d have to go and win a couple of Challengers to make the cut for the US Open (qualifiers). The more realistic goal for me is to make the Australian Open at the start of next year. I’ve got six months to get inside the 250, which is very achievable. I’m winning a lot of games and feeling good in myself, so why not?”
Did he ever question, during the darkest recesses of his injury enforced lay-offs, whether this would happen?
“Yeah, for sure I doubted. But it was also a learning process. Being around this sort of environment at Wimbledon, you see just how important taking care of your body is.
“I’ve made a massive point of it over the last few years, since I’ve had all my injury problems, to step up that side of things. I think that’s the reason why a lot of these guys, like the (Roger) Federers and (Rafael) Nadals, are able to stay up at this level for so long.
“They all travel with trainers and get the best physios and treatment. They dedicate hours to their bodies every day.
“That’s why there’s such longevity in the sport now.
“Obviously things like that all depend on finances. If I can afford to have someone along, then I will because it’s such a big help. I’ve been doing better, so I can afford to have a fitness coach in Canada.
“Everything that I earn goes back into my tennis to help me climb. It’s all reinvested. And it is now starting to pay off.”
Eden Silva (left) and Evan Hoyt during their quarter-final match against Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan.