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British beef: Evans, Edmund clash over racquet tap at Battle of the Brits

hannahwilks in News 29 Jul 2020
Dan Evans wasn’t impressed by fellow Brit Kyle Edmund’s gesture at the end of their match (Credit Image: © Speed Media/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

Dan Evans was less than impressed with compatriot Kyle Edmund at the end of their Battle of the Brits encounter.

In one of the biggest clashes so far at the Battle of the Brits Team Tennis event, Evans beat Edmund 6-4, 6-4 to score a significant three points for the Union Jacks – but the real drama came after the final ball bounced twice.

Players have been tapping racquets from arms’ length instead of shaking hands at the net, to comply with social distancing. But Evans was not impressed when Edmund swiped at his racquet rather harder than Evans was expecting.

 

Evans can be seen giving Edmund a cold look and chiding him: ‘Be very careful, Kyle. Be very, very careful, mate.’

The world no. 28 returned to the Union Jacks bench to receive the congratulations of his teammates, but wasn’t done with the incident. Cameras picked him up complaining: ‘Did you see what he did to my racquet? He just teed my racquet. When I put my racquet there, he just absolutely belted my racquet.’

Teammate Heather Watson suggested Edmund was joking, saying: ‘I don’t think it was serious.’

‘Well, I think it was,’ Evans retorted.

Edmund, who lost to Evans in the final of the inaugural Battle of the Brits event, dismissed the incident later.

‘It was nothing. He said he misinterpreted it.

‘It was more like, at the end of the match, touching the racket. There was nothing there – a racket touch is not that big of a deal, to be honest.’

Edmund and Evans will be facing off on court again on Wednesday, albeit in men’s doubles this time – Evans is due to partner Jamie Murray against Edmund and Joe Salisbury, and is also playing singles against Cameron Norrie for the second time this week.

BATTLE OF THE BRITS TEAM TENNIS: Full order of play, results, latest news and more

Evans has certainly been an extremely vocal presence on the bench for the Union Jacks, captained by Judy Murray and Greg Rusedski, who trail the British Bulldogs 8-18.

Andy Murray made his first appearance on court at the event on Tuesday, but was unable to lift the fortunes of his team. The three-time Grand Slam champion has already said he’ll only be playing doubles this week as he continues his journey back to full fitness, and he partnered 21-year-old Jodie Burrage in mixed doubles on Tuesday evening. Team ‘Murrage’ made a bright start, but ended up by losing to Emma Raducanu and Joe Salisbury in a match tie-break – with Murray accidentally clocking Burrage on the shoulder on match point, to boot.

 

It wasn’t all bad news for the UK’s top players on Tuesday. World no. 14 Johanna Konta, the top British woman, bounced back from a shock defeat to Burrage on the opening day in superb style when she staged a comeback from 2-6, 0-3 down to beat Katie Boulter 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-6.