WATCH: Dan Evans, Fabio Fognini and chair umpire involved in furious argument – ‘Don’t swear’

Shahida Jacobs
Dan Evans
Dan Evans reacts during a match.

Frustrations boiled over during Dan Evans’ first-round match against Fabio Fognini at the Italian Open with the former losing his cool after chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani got a call wrong.

The drama unfolded in the fourth game of the third set with Fognini looking to consolidate his break as he was serving at 3-1 (30-40).

The Italian took a miscued return from Evans on the full, but he himself mistimed his shot and it appeared to go wide. The line judge didn’t put their arm out and there was also no overrule from Lahyani.

But Evans was convinced they got the call wrong and he marched over to the mark.

“Come on, that is out,” the world No 67 said and he accidentally bumped into the official who got down from his chair.

Lahyani insisted that the Brit got the wrong mark replying “no, no, no”, but Evans was adamant it was out and, with Fognini pointing at a mark, Evans walked over to the net and the argument continued as the umpire joined them.

“It’s catching the back of the line,” Lahyani told the pair, but Evans insisted “he doesn’t know where the ball is”.

Replays confirmed that the ball was indeed out, but the umpire returned to his chair and Evans went over to continue his protest and argued: “You couldn’t show me the mark… it didn’t hit the f****** line”.

Lahyani replied: “Don’t swear.”

But Evans later retorted: “All I’m asking is for you to show me where the ball landed but you couldn’t because you didn’t know. It’s over, forget it. Can you tell me why I had an unsportsmanlike conduct.”

Lahyani answered: “Yes, because you have used the F-word today. I totally agree (that Evans had his point of view) but you don’t shout at me and use the F-word. If you had talked to me in a normal way I would have accepted it.”

Evans ended up breaking back as he made it 2-3 in the deciding set, but Fognini broke again and the Italian eventually claimed a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 victory to set up a second-round match against 11th seed Taylor Fritz.

“I am very happy because I played again in front of a special crowd for me,” the former world No 9 said. “They give me sweet and salty [support] all my career, but I am happy because I got through. Every match is difficult for me now so I will just enjoy and see what happens tomorrow.”