Things got a bit edgy at the feel-good Battle of the Brits exhibition event on Tuesday evening, when Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans met at the net after their match.
Evans, who had defeated Edmund in the final of the first leg of the event last month, beat the world No 44 again on Tuesday, 6-4, 6-4, in the battle of the top two British players. On winning, the 28-ranked Evans roared in celebration and egged on sparse crowd, made up by officials and teammates.
British beef. pic.twitter.com/ljN2Zwbe1N
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) July 28, 2020
In the Covid-19 world, players just tap racquets at the net rather than shaking hands.
But a seemingly frustrated Edmund flicked his racquet a bit too aggressively, drawing a reaction from Evans.
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“Be very careful, Kyle,” Evans, 30, said. “Be very careful mate.”
When he returned to his box, Evans was heard saying, “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.”
Edmund tried to defuse the situation, saying Evans had ‘misinterpreted’ the gesture.
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“It was nothing,” the 25-year-old said. “He said he misinterpreted it. It was more like, at the end of the match, touching the racket. There was nothing there – a racket touch is not that big of a deal, to be honest.”
The Battle of the Brits is an exhibition event, organized by Jamie Murray, that has helped British players gain some sort of match practice during the lockdown.