Like everything else in the world, tennis looks a lot different amid a global pandemic but one thing that hasn’t changed is salty players showing their frustration at the end-of-match handshake.
Technically, stars can’t actually shake hands at the net anymore because of coronavirus and the post-match ritual has been replaced with a racquet tap — but that still leaves room for tempers to boil over.
World No. 28 Dan Evans took exception to the way a disappointed Kyle Edmund approached the gesture as he beat his countryman 6-4 6-4 at the Battle of the Brits this morning (AEDT).
After outclassing the 25-year-old in straight sets, Evans’ good mood was soured when he accused his opponent of hitting his racquet too hard.
“Be very careful, Kyle. Be very careful mate,” Evans told Edmund before returning to his team, where he complained again.
“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.”
A female player told Evans “I think he was kind of joking, I don’t think it was serious” but the feisty right-hander didn’t agree.
“Well, I think it was (serious),” Evans said.
Dan Evans: ‘Be very careful Kyle. Be very careful’.
A new form of racquet smashing is nigh. Excellent. https://t.co/K2P48B6Umo
British beef. pic.twitter.com/ljN2Zwbe1N
I thought no proper handshakes would rob us of some essential drama, but Kyle Edmund just moodily hit Evans' racquet a bit too hard. Evans: "Be very careful, Kyle. Be very careful mate."
There wasn't much love lost between Kyle and Dan at the end.
Kyle tapped Dan's racket particularly hard during the make shift hand shake. Evo turns to Kyle and tells him to be very careful! 👀👀😂🤣
Battle of the Brits is a team event featuring the UK’s top male and female players at London’s National Tennis Centre. It’s the brainchild of doubles star Jamie Murray, the brother of three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray.
Each match is worth a certain amount of points as two teams of 13 go head-to-head.
The event was organised in lieu of ATP and WTA tournaments that have been cancelled because of COVID-19.
“We want to bring the best British players together, men and women, in one event to showcase the best of British talent,” Jamie Murray said.
“It brings live and competitive tennis to the fans in the absence of major events at this time of the year.”
At the end of day two, the British Bulldogs are leading Evans’ team the Union Jacks 18-8.
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