Andy Murray's return slowed by rain as Dan Evans marches on at Queens

Scot faces playing twice today if he finishes off Mahut while young Brit earns Del Potro chance

Queen's Club

As if Andy Murray's preparations for Wimbledon have not been difficult enough, the British weather has also turned against the 26-year-old Scot. Murray spent a frustrating day here dodging the rain showers that have seriously disrupted this week's Aegon Championships and will have to return today to complete his second-round match against Nicolas Mahut. Murray was leading 6-3, 2-2 when play was called off for the night.

Murray was already facing the prospect of playing five matches in five days if he reaches Sunday's final here. If he goes on to beat Mahut he will have to return later in the afternoon to play his third-round match against Australia's Marinko Matosevic.

A frustrating day saw Murray and Mahut forced off the court three times. After the first set, only four games were possible – in two separate periods between the showers – in the ensuing three and a half hours before play was called off at 6.30pm. Murray, playing his first competitive match for a month after suffering a recurrence of a back injury, was clearly concerned about the slippery court. With Wimbledon only 11 days away, the last thing he needs is another injury.

Having lost to Mahut at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago, Murray would have been more than satisfied with his performance in the opening set against an accomplished grass-court opponent. Mahut saved two break points in the opening game before Murray broke to lead 4-3, completing the job with a forehand winner after a well-judged drop shot. Two games later Murray broke again, converting his third set point with a killing lob, before rain forced the players off court.

Earlier in the day, Britain's Dan Evans recorded one of the best victories of his career when he beat Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 6-7, 6-4. The 23-year-old from Birmingham demonstrated once again how his ranking – he is the world No 277 and has never been higher than No 248 – does not reflect his talent.

Nieminen is the world No 37 and a player of great experience, having played in 13 finals on the main tour, but Evans was too good for him. The 31-year-old Finn, who is the highest-ranked player Evans has beaten, fought back to win the second set tie-break 8-6, but the Briton took the decider after an hour and 48 minutes.

Evans is not short on self-belief. The Briton said he had thought he would beat Argentina's Guido Pella, the world No 75, in the first round. "I prefer to play someone better, where they hit the ball, rather than a guy who's playing Futures," he said. "It's a bit more intense and I don't struggle to keep concentration when I'm playing here."

At 5ft 9in, Evans is nine inches shorter than his next opponent, Juan Martin del Potro, the world No 8. "He's going to have to go down from pretty high to low if I slice that much," Evans said. "He probably won't play as much slice as me. I have my own goals tomorrow. I don't think I need to share them with everybody. I'm pretty happy with the way I'm playing. I will just go out there and do what I have to do."

During a rain delay, Evans talked in the locker room to Murray and the Scot's coach, Ivan Lendl. Evans said he had found it "pretty intimidating" to be in Lendl's presence. "I don't know him," Evans said. "Obviously he was an unbelievable tennis player, so I just keep quiet and don't say anything."

They talked about the forthcoming US Open golf tournament. "He didn't much like my pick of Sergio Garcia to win it," Evans said. "He said [Steve] Stricker was a dark horse and he can't see past Tiger Woods, so I wasn't going to comment on that."

Lleyton Hewitt, four times a winner here, gave Grigor Dimitrov a lesson in grass-court tennis, beating the 22-year-old Bulgarian 6-4, 6-3. Tomas Berdych, the No 2 seed, beat the Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker 6-1, 6-4 in the Czech's first match since his defeat to Gaël Monfils in the first round of the French Open.

Dimitrov later joined forces in the doubles with Freddie Nielsen, who won the Wimbledon doubles title last year with Britain's Jonny Marray. Dimitrov and Nielsen were beaten 7-6, 6-3 by Jamie Murray and Australia's John Peers, who have formed a useful partnership in recent weeks.

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
film
Sport
football
News
news
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
A photograph taken by David Redferm of Sonny Rollins
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker