Dan Evans unleashed a furious tirade in which he accused officials of being ‘scared’ and a ‘f***ing embarrassment’ to the sport as he lost a three-hour semi-final epic at the Sydney Classic.
British No 2 Evans lost control of his emotions early in the third set when he questioned the amount of time Aslan Karatsev was allowed to take for a bathroom break.
New rules on the ATP Tour allow three minutes for a toilet break and a further two minutes for a change of clothes, which Karatsev chose to take up after being pegged back in a thrilling second set tie-break.
Evans, who lost 3-6, 7-6, 6-3, was furious and vented his fury towards the chair umpire and court supervisor at what he felt was malpractice.
Dan Evans produced a stunning meltdown in his Sydney Classic semi-final defeat on Friday
The British No 2 (right) accused the chair umpire of being ‘scared’ to make major decisions
Evans teetered on the edge all match and smashed his racket in what was a frustrating defeat
He was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after labelling officials ‘f***ing embarrassing’
‘That’s a f***ing embarrassment to the sport, embarrassing. F**k him,’ Evans screamed, before being called for unsportsmanlike conduct.
He then chose to direct his anger at Karatsev’s box and said, ‘even you were asking where he is!’
Evans could not be placated and he continued to rage, adding: ‘You guys sit there every week and do nothing.
‘Keep the same f***ing clothes! No-one on this tour plays tennis without running.
‘You (chair umpire) sit there on your walkie-talkie, why do you have that? I want an answer. Have you got an answer? How long was he off the court? Tell me, I want to know.’
Evans was called back to court and as he ran the risk of defaulting he successfully claimed back his break to go 3-2 behind in the deciding set.
Evans had the opportunity to set up the first all-British ATP Tour singles final in the Open Era
Karatsev (right) blew him away in the opening set before a stunning 84-minute second set
When there was a change of ends, taking him away from the supervisor, he went on: ‘I think you’re scared to make decisions. Every week. That’s not the rule. Five minutes to change his shorts and t-shirt? Five minutes? Good effort.’
Evans went under the lights in Sydney knowing there was the prospect of a first ever all-British ATP singles final in the Open Era having seen Andy Murray book his spot after a three-set win over Reilly Opelka.
But Karatsev, the top seed in Sydney, has been playing some imperious tennis and it was he who started impressively.
The Russian raced into a 5-1 lead, in which time Evans was able to scream out ‘f***ing hell, c**t’, which was unclear if it was directed at himself or his opponent.
Evans had to dig in to make this one a contest and the Brit roared back into the contest to convert a fourth break point with a pin-point backhand winner down the line.
That forced a deciding set and it was tournament top seed Aslan Karatsev who progresses
Evans produced a valiant fightback but he could do little to combat Karatsev’s 50 winners
His resistance, which saw him hold for 3-5, was to be short-lived as Karatsev, who looked a class apart in the first set, served it out to go within six games of the final.
The second set will be one for the ages in 2022, even if this is only January.
Over the course of 84 minutes, Evans saved three match points and needed six set points of his own to level it up.
The sixth came up at 14-13 in the tiebreak and Karatsev’s defensive return was punished – it was a stunning time for Evans to show his deadly drives.
Back in the match but with Karatsev taking up a five-minute break off the court – three minutes to use the toilet and a further two minutes to change clothes – Evans cooled and he soon paid a price when he was broken in his first service game to go down 2-0.
Evans exploded at the officials and while he put up a dogged defence, ice cool Karatsev held his nerve to seal his spot against Murray in Saturday’s Sydney final.