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British tennis star Dan Evans admitted “I’ll be getting fined” after tempers boiled over and he smashed his racket and water bottle following a disagreement with the umpire in his French Open first-round defeat to Thanasi Kokkinakis. A foot fault set his service game back as he demanded answers from the official at the changeover during a heated match.
Evans described the fault as a “joke” as he was handed a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct, but he resumed complaining for the remainder of the set. Later, Evans’ frustrations boiled over as he felt that his opponent’s team were shouting too much and being disruptive, though admitted that he is aware that he will likely be fined for the outburst.
“Yeah, Thanasi played well. Me, not so well,” Evans said in his post-match press conference. “It was a difficult day, bottom line, really. Yeah, I was poor from start to finish. That was basically it. He took advantage of it. He served well. Yeah, frustrating really, and that’s about it.”
When asked about the foot fault and whether it was disruptive, he replied: “Disruptive, wrong, a few other things you could say about it. Then, yeah, and then 15-30 or 30-15 he hits. I serve on the line. His net cord goes over.
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“Yeah, it’s what it is, isn’t it? It’s the game. But, once again, the players are held responsible, but the umpires and line judges are not held responsible. I’ll be getting fined, obviously, for breaking the water bottle. We’ll just go through the same cycle again, yeah.”
Evans stated it was the first time he had been called for the offence and that it threw him off before going on to lose 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to the Australian star. He claimed that he “lost all trust” in his positioning but refused to say that it was the reason for his defeat.
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“Never even [been called for it before]. I obviously knew it was a rule, but tend to know where my feet are, where I’m standing. It obviously threw me quite a bit because I didn’t then want to be serving from — yeah, it just totally threw me where I was then serving from. My technique sort of got thrown out. Yeah, it was difficult from then on.
“I sort of lost all trust in where my feet were. It’s a very minor thing, but it became a pretty big thing in my head. It was then difficult to get away from that, especially on second serve because I just didn’t feel I knew where I was on the court. It’s strange. If they’re going to call that foot fault, it shouldn’t be from 35 meters away, from fence to fence through a net. But, again, that’s not the reason I lost, but I was right in the match at that point.
“But they find a way of getting involved. Whoever it is up in the chair, they find a way, and they’re good at it. They get involved plenty. They need to look back at Rome. They get involved on this surface when there’s really no need to.”
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