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Tennis star fumes after being caught in ‘disgusting’ cheating storm

Tennis star Dan Evans blew up at his opponents on the court then attacked them off it as tempers threatened to boil over at the French Open.Evans and partner Hubert Hurkacz defeated Matwe Middelkoop and Marcel Demoliner in three sets in the opening round of the men’s doubles in Paris and the 30-year-old was still…

Tennis star Dan Evans blew up at his opponents on the court then attacked them off it as tempers threatened to boil over at the French Open.

Evans and partner Hubert Hurkacz defeated Matwe Middelkoop and Marcel Demoliner in three sets in the opening round of the men’s doubles in Paris and the 30-year-old was still seething in his post-match press conference about the “disgusting” treatment he claims to have copped from the players on the other side of the net.

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The Brit confronted Middelkoop during a change of ends in the third set after the Dutchman and Demoliner claimed the ball had hit the world No. 34 — rather than his racquet — mid-rally, arguing they deserved the point.

Evans angrily denied the accusation and the umpire had to step down from his chair when the furious star shrugged off Hurkacz’s protective hand and stormed towards the net.

The fiery right-hander accused Middelkoop of saying something to him, while Middelkoop proclaimed his innocence and complained about Evans yelling in his face, saying: “Don’t behave like a child, man. That’s ridiculous.”

Evans was also upset Middelkoop hadn’t trusted him about a line call when he circled a mark on the clay, and let rip when fronting the media after he and his Polish teammate had advanced to the second round.

“They accused me of the ball hitting me when I hit it back. I didn’t think the ball had hit me. Then he (Middelkoop) wouldn’t trust me on a call,” Evans said.

“I would say I am pretty fair. For me, that there is as good as calling me a cheat, which is disgusting. And I won’t let that go and that’s why I told him when we went 5-2 up.

“Some of these guys seem to be happy to give it out to us but don’t like it when it comes back their way and I’ve no issues with doing that. I was pretty angry on the court. I don’t like that.

“There’s one thing that us Brits are, is too fair in my opinion. I would say if it (the ball) hit me (and not my racquet). I don’t think it hit me.

“They won the point so I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s embarrassing chat from the pair of them. It’s desperation in my opinion. I’m still seething.

“I was pretty angry. It’s OK. He (Middelkoop) has plenty of time to think about it. It is a few more weeks before he plays again. Poor kid. See ya.”

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This is the second “cheating” scandal to hit Roland Garros in as many days after Laura Siegemund was accused of failing to call a double bounce in her round one win over Kristina Mladenovic, when she profited from a clear violation of the rules to help knock the Frenchwoman out of her home Grand Slam.

Mladenovic was 5-1 up and with a set point against Siegemund when the German scooped up a winner despite the ball appearing to bounce twice.

The incident was missed by chair umpire Eva Asderaki and world No. 44 Mladenovic pleaded in vain before Siegemund took full advantage, racing into the next round with a 7-5 6-3 win.

While both players were quick to place responsibility for the call on the umpire, tennis legend Martina Navratilova said Siegemund could have stepped up and shown sportsmanship.

“That was awful,” Navratilova tweeted. “The umpire, who is usually great, missed that one.

“In the old days we would have called it ourselves but these days it’s different. For sure Siegemund knew she didn’t get it on the first bounce et voila — it totally turned the match as Mladenovic knew it … shame.”

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