The French Open has been hit by a second ‘cheating’ controversy in as many days.
On Tuesday it was Laura Siegemund being accused of poor sportsmanship, and on Wednesday it was Dan Evans’ turn.
Evans and Hubert Hurkacz were taking on Matwe Middelkoop and Marcel Demoliner in a first-round doubles clash when the match erupted in the third set.
With the clock ticking towards 11pm on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Middelkoop and Demoliner were left fuming when they believed a ball hit Evans’ body rather than his racquet.
That would result in Evans and HurKacz losing the point, however they went on to win it and the resulting game.
As the players moved to their court-side chairs at the end of the game, things got heated.
Evans jumped from his chair and ran over to argue with Middelkoop, who had been remonstrating with the chair umpire about Evans.
The umpire had to jump down from his chair and separate the players as angry words were exchanged.
“You’re behaving like a child. It’s ridiculous. I did nothing to you,” Middlekoop could be heard saying.
“I’m just asking why you screamed in my face, that’s all.”
Here's what happened between Dan Evans and Matwe Middelkoop. pic.twitter.com/3ChaBYm6jZ— Lee 🏳️🌈 (@yelnats_eel) September 30, 2020
Dan Evans slams ‘disgusting’ accusations
Evans and Hurkacz went on to win the match 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, but Evans was still fuming at the accusations.
“They accused me of the ball hitting me when I hit it back. I didn't think the ball had hit me. Then he wouldn't trust me on a call. I would say I am pretty fair,” the Brit said.
“That is as good as calling me a cheat which is disgusting and I won't let that go and that is why I told him.
“Some of these guys seem to be happy to give it out but don't like it when it comes back their way. And I have no issues doing that.
“There’s one thing that us Brits are is too fair in my opinion. I would say if it hit me. 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 is okay. He [Middelkoop] has plenty of time to think about it. It is a few more weeks before he plays again. Poor kid. See ya.”
Second ‘cheating’ controversy at French Open
On Tuesday, tennis legend Martina Navratilova accused Siegemund of poor sportsmanship after she got away with a clear double-bounce in her win over Kristina Mladenovic.
With Mladenovic up 5-1 in the first set, Siegemund hit a return that had clearly bounced twice, with a shellshocked Mladenovic losing the point.
It completely rattled the French player as Siegemund powered all the way back to win 7-5, 6-3.
“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 voilà - it totally turned the match as Mladenovic knew it … shame.”
However Mladenovic pinned no blame on Siegemund after the match, saying Asderaki was at fault.
“I think the chair umpire was the only person not to have seen it,” said the French player.
“Mistakes are human, but I don't see how the umpire can miss that. She didn't see a double bounce.
“Unfortunately, she will continue at Roland Garros, and I won’t continue at Roland Garros.
“If (Siegemund) would have done it, she would have all my respect and be super fair play. But she's not the one responsible. I think the chair umpire is the one that should be really focused on that call.”
However fans disagreed, with many labelling Siegemund’s actions ‘cheating’ on social media.
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