Daniel Evans, Great Britain's top-ranked player, had to be separated from an opponent by a French Open chair umpire during a heated disagreement in a first-round doubles match at Roland Garros late in the evening on Wednesday.
Evans and his partner, Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, were ahead and serving at 4-2 in the third set of their match against Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop and Brazilian Marcelo Demoliner when the incident occurred.
During a rally on game point with Evans serving, Middlekoop hit a cross-court backhand that flew close to Evans and was called out to give the British/Polish team the game and a 5-2 lead.
Evans indicated the mark on the clay, but Middlekoop appeared to ignore him and asked Hurkacz if the shot was in or out. Evans took umbrage at being ignored. As he sat down on the changeover, Middlekoop spoke with the chair umpire, presumably about whether the shot brushed Evans. Had the shot in question touched him, Middlekoop and Demoliner would have been awarded the critical point.
Evans, who is often referred to as the "bad boy" of British tennis, bolted from his chair and headed toward the team across the net. Hurkacz tried to grab and restrain him but remained seated as chair umpire Rémy Azemar clambered down from the chair and got between Evans and Middlekoop.
Evans yelled at Middlekoop, "You're behaving like a child -- that's ridiculous."
Azemar chided Middlekoop, who then apologized for not trusting Evans.
"That there is as good as calling me a cheat, which is disgusting," Evans told reporters after he and Hurkacz won. "I won't let that go, and that is why I told him. I was pretty angry."