Bernard Tomic’s support team were the subject of heavy criticism after the his straight-sets exit from the Australian Open on Friday.
Englishman Dan Evans proved too good for the 27th seed on HiSense Arena, posting a 7-5 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-3) victory in two hours and 48 minutes.
The unseeded Brit – who was told in 2012 by Bernard’s father, John, that he was not good enough to practice with his son – was angry with members of the crowd throughout his triumph and then aimed fire at Tomic’s support crew afterwards.
When asked by The New Daily if that awkward history made his win sweeter, Evans said: “No. He [John] came to the changing room after and said ‘well done’. It was nice of him.
“John was fine, but the rest of his team acted like complete idiots in the box, screaming at me when I was getting my towel. That’s why I was upset.
“He [John] has a friend in the box. He doesn’t know how to act on a tennis court … the umpire sees it as well and doesn’t say anything.
“The guy’s just screaming at me, ‘Give him hell, Bernie’. There’s nothing on that tennis court which could be hell, is there? What happened in Melbourne today [CBD rampage] is hell. It’s an embarrassment.
“I think that’s why Bernie said ‘well done’ and stuff [after the match], because he was a bit embarrassed by how those guys acted.”
The post-match drama should not overshadow what was a terrific win from Evans, who took just two minutes to set the tone with an early break.
Tomic’s first serve, normally such a weapon, was causing few problems for Evans, who made three first-set breaks to win the opener.
In the second set, the Australian saved two set points at 4-5 and Evans, growing increasingly frustrated with the crowd, looked jittery for the first time.
But Tomic, who had two set points on the Evans serve, could not take advantage, as the winner’s aggression paid off.
A tight third set was locked at 5-5 and 40-40 when play was stopped for more than seven minutes due to light rain but the break did little to halt Evans, who went on to claim a terrific win and set up a fourth-round clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
“I felt like I served pretty solid, but he’s just on fire,” Tomic, who hit 20 aces, said.
“He’s playing well … those big points, he came up with amazing tennis. If a guy beats me like this, then too good.
“You can’t be upset with yourself. I hope he can keep going for himself in this tournament.”
Barty goes down as well
Ashleigh Barty’s Australian Open campaign also ended on Friday, with German qualifier Mona Barthel winning 6-4 3-6 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.
Barty, who needed a wildcard to enter the tournament after her ranking slid while she took a sabbatical to play cricket, showed plenty of courage to win the second set.
She was up a break in the third, too, but just when a fourth-round meeting with Venus Williams looked on the cards, Barthel upped her game – and Barty’s unforced error count rose.
Barty was in no mood to be negative afterwards, though, saying: “If you would have asked me 12 months ago if I was going to be in the third round of the Australian Open, I would say, ‘mate, you’re kidding’.
“Obviously it’s disappointing tonight that we couldn’t execute what we wanted. But still a very positive week.”
Just ‘Dasha’ left in the singles
Barty’s exit leaves Daria Gavrilova as Australia’s sole representative in the singles.
The 22nd seed plays Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky on Saturday evening and Barty is hopeful Gavrilova can progress.
“She’s going to go out there and give it a red hot crack,” she said.
“Hopefully she can fly that Aussie flag for us and get into the second week of a grand slam again.”
Also on Friday evening, Roger Federer wound back the clock with a stunning 6-2 6-4 6-4 thrashing of Tomas Berdych.