Furious Khachanov hits umpire’s chair, loses to Evans

Russia's Karen Khachanov hits umpire's chair during an ill-tempered match against Dan Evans in Antwerp

Karen Khachanov

A furious Karen Khachanov hit the umpire’s chair and kicked the net during his 6-3, 6-7, 4-6 defeat to Dan Evans in the European Open quarterfinal in Antwerp on Friday evening.

Third seed Khachanov, who had a match point in the second set (at 6-5 in the tie-break), lost his temper when the umpire didn’t call an Evans forehand out. It was a crucial juncture in a tense, closely-fought tie-breaker, and gave the Brit a set point.

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“It’s a joke,” the Russian shouted at chair umpire Adel Nour. “It’s a joke. Everyone can see it was out. Are you drunk today?

“What are you doing here? What are you doing here? You don’t need to be here.”

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On losing the tie-breaker 9-7, Khachanov kicked the net and smashed his racquet into the umpire’s chair twice on the way to his bench. The Russian threw his racquet and seemed to storm out of the court, but was called back by the umpire and given a code violation.

The incident seemed to be the tipping point for the 24-year-old Russian as he went on to lose the third set.

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There were lots of close and controversial calls during the match and the indoor event in Antwerp is not equipped with Hawk-Eye. At one point or the other, Evans and Khachanov seemed unhappy with the officiating and got into heated discussions with the chair umpire.

After one game, Evans called it a, “F***ing circus!”

After the match, Khachanov issued an apology on his Instagram page, saying he was sorry for his ‘rude behaviour’.

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“I just wanted to say a few words after today’s match,” the Russian wrote on social media.

“It was an emotional, complicated and difficult match today…I would like to saythat after the match I talked to the umpire. He was really sorry and apologized to me for the mistakes he’s made during our match and I apologized to him for my (rude) behavior.

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“At the end of the day, we are all human and able to do mistakes…I didn’t want to insult anyone and act like this. I just couldn’t control my temper in those crucial moments…which in the end reflected on the result of the match..Thank you everybody for the support, means a lot.”