Dan Evans may have lost in the first round to Kei Nishikori, but his Roland Garros campaign isn't over yet. Late on Wednesday night, he and partner Hubert Hurkacz beat Matwe Middelkoop and Marcel Demoliner, 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 7-5.
The match featured some heavy drama, with Evans getting in a heated argument with Middelkoop at 5-2 in the third.
Here's what happened between Dan Evans and Matwe Middelkoop. pic.twitter.com/3ChaBYm6jZ— Lee ????️???? (@yelnats_eel) September 30, 2020
What caused the blow up?
Just a few games earlier at 4-1, 0-15, a Middelkoop overhead sailed long on Hurkacz's side. Evans helped point out the ball mark in the dirt, but his opponents wanted Hurckacz to confirm it. Of course, it's the umpire's job to do so and he ran down to take care of business.
Then at 4-2, 40-30, Evans came into the net after serving and was defending an attack with a slick behind-the-back volley which Demoliner put away handily.
Middelkoop and Demoliner questioned if the ball had touched Evans' body, though it didn't matter whatsoever. So when Evans held for 5-2, he screamed a loud "Come on!" across the net and that prompted Middelkoop to speak up.
"They accused me basically of the ball hitting me and I hit it back, and he basically asked me I would give him the point if he had missed the next shot," Evans told press. "But I didn’t think the ball had hit me," adding that they didn't trust him on the out call either.
The argument ended in a half-hearted elbow tap.
Evans said that Brits are overly polite and fair, so he had taken their mistrust quite personally.
"That there is as good as calling me a cheat, which is disgusting," he said. "And I won’t let that go. And that’s why I told him when we went 5-2 up."
Evans and Hurkacz are predominantly singles players and entered the doubles draw for some extra match play with the rest of the 2020 schedule up in the air. Evans considers doubles fun and secondary to his singles, but clearly still wants to win, while his opponents are doubles specialists.
"Some of these guys seem to be happy to give it out to us, but don’t like it when it comes back there way. I have no issues with doing that," Evans said. "It’s embarrassing chat from the pair of them. It's desperation in my opinion."
Hurkacz was also eliminated in the first round of singles, by Tennys Sandgren. He and Evans will face No. 2 seeds Marcelo Granollers and Horacio Zeballos on Thursday.