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.

News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
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.

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?