Brit loses plot over Russian rival’s toilet break (VIDEO)
Britain’s Dan Evans could not contain his rage as Russian opponent Aslan Karatsev took a timeout for a toilet break and clothing change during their semi-final at the Sydney International.
Top seed Karatsev overcame the Brit in a three-set, three-hour battle which included an epic tiebreak to decide set two.
In the end it was world number 20 Karatsev who prevailed, 6-3 6-7 (13-15) 6-3, depriving Evans of the chance of an all-British final with Andy Murray, who had overcome fourth seed Reilly Opelka earlier on Friday.
The action-packed tussle between third seed Evans and Karatsev was not without controversy, and featured an epic meltdown from the Brit after he was broken in his first service game of the decisive set, having only just clawed himself back into the match.
The 31-year-old was infuriated by a break Karatsev had taken to use the bathroom and have a change of clothes.
New ATP rules permit players to have a maximum of three minutes once they have entered the WC and a further two minutes for a change of attire.
In a wild rant, Evans suggested that the match umpire had not applied the rules properly – also taking aim at Karatsev and his team as well as a supervisor.
“That’s a f***ing embarrassment to the sport, embarrassing. F**k him,” Evans was caught screaming.
“You didn’t apply the rules. You didn’t!”
Part of the meltdown was shared online as Evans’ tirade continued.
“You guys sit there every week and do nothing,” said the Brit.
“No-one on this tour plays tennis without running. You 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.
“The problem with this tour is you are all scared. You're telling me a lie. Just tell it as it is. This is f***ing embarrassment.
“Five minutes to change his shorts and t-shirt? Five minutes? Good effort.”
The defeat for the hotheaded Evans – who was slapped with a 12-month ban for cocaine back in 2017 – meant there was to be no all-British final, which would have been a first ever on the ATP Tour.
Instead, former world number one Murray, 34, will meet the 28-year-old Karatsev in Saturday’s final.
Murray is chasing his first ATP title since 2019 and a 47th overall after continuing his comeback from a career-threatening hip injury, while Karatsev is looking to add to his two ATP-level crowns.