Fiery Evans warns Edmund over 'belting' racket in Battle of Brits

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 28, 2020 Britain's Dan Evans in action during his Semi Final match against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

(Reuters) - Handshakes across the net have been replaced by the tapping of rackets amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but a fired-up Dan Evans took umbrage at Kyle Edmund “belting” his frame after their Battle of the Brits match on Tuesday.

Evans, ranked 28, defeated the 44th-ranked Edmund 6-4 6-4 in a high-quality encounter between Britain’s top two players.

However, Evans’ fist-pumping celebrations after sealing the win were followed by an encounter at the net that saw Edmund strike the frame of Evans’ racket with what the latter said was undue force, triggering an angry response.

“Be very careful, Kyle. Be very careful mate,” Evans said.

“Did you see what he did to my racket? He just teed my racket,” the 30-year-old told teammates sitting courtside. “When I put my racket there, he just absolutely belted it.”

However, Edmund said he later approached Evans to smooth things over.

“Dan said he misinterpreted it,” the 25-year-old Edmund said. “A racket touch is not that big a deal, to be honest.”

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell