Dan Evans fumed over a spectator in the Court 17 crowd after claiming he had been verbally “abusing” both himself and opponent Marin Cilic early in their US Open third-round clash. The 20th seed said the fan hurled insults at the 2014 champion and when Evans stood up for him he started receiving insults himself. It prompted the umpire to make some calls before the spectator in question was thrown out.
Cilic was serving at 3-3 when Evans approached the umpire mid-game to complain about a spectator who had been shouting insults at both men. “He was abusing him at the start and I told him to stop, now he’s abusing me,” the British No 2 said of the fan sat on Court 17.
Explaining that it was the 2014 champion who was initially being verbally abused by the crowd member, Evans added: “He called him something before I told him, and I didn’t like it. I said ‘Don’t start saying that, he’s a nice guy.’ Which is fine. Now he’s haing a go at me for no reason.”
The game continued with the former world No 3 holding on for 4-3 before both men sat down at the change of ends, as the chair umpire could be seen on the phone with Prime Video commentator and former world No 4 Greg Rusedski speculating whether the fan was going to be removed while Evans’ coach also started complaining about the person in question.
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The crowd member initially remained as play resumed at the end of the changeover, deciding to start supporting the Croat following Evans’ complaints. But he was finally removed when both men sat down for the next change of ends with Cilic leading 5-4 on serve.
Fans on Court 17 could be heard clapping and cheering as the man in question was escorted out of the court. “There’s a little kerfuffle in the crowd as well, I’m not sure if they removed that gentleman as well,” Greg Rusedski remarked, before Evans sucessfully served to stay in the set and level for 5-5 with the relief that the spectator was gone.