- 30 Aug 2019
Dan Evans claimed US Open schedulers gave Roger Federer a helping hand after the weary Briton bowed out of Flushing Meadows on Friday.
Midweek rain delays meant Evans played his second-round match against Lucas Pouille a day later than planned, eventually beating the French 25th seed on Thursday.
Federer, in contrast, got his match out of the way on Wednesday, meaning he had ample preparation time. The 20-time grand slam winner duly swept past Evans, inflicting a 6-2 6-2 6-1 whipping on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The 29-year-old British player had hoped for longer to recover, rather than being handed a slot at 12:00 local time (16:00 GMT) for his clash with the five-time US Open winner.
But Federer angrily rejected any suggestion he demanded a midday start, saying it was nonsense to think he calls the shots. He was so riled that, unusually for the Swiss, he used an expletive in his post-match news conference.
“These guys, the tournament obviously want Roger… would rather Roger be going through that match than me, so it’s understandable,” Evans told the media.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 30, 2019
Evans scoffed when asked whether he or Leon Smith, the Great Britain Davis Cup captain who has been working closely with him, had requested a more suitable start time.
“You think a guy who has my ranking has any say in that?” said the world number 58. “There is probably about four people in this tournament who has a say when they play. Maybe three.”
Evans – who admitted Federer played “no-error tennis” – found some sympathy from his opponent.
Federer said: “You could definitely argue that the scheduling was not in his favour. I understand if Danny is a little bit frustrated.”
But the 38-year-old stressed he had not attempted to gain any pre-match advantage with the schedule, saying: “I don’t remember that I asked for something. I definitely didn’t do it intentionally. I don’t even know if the team asked for day [rather than night session]. I know there was questions to have a preference.
“But that doesn’t mean like, ‘Roger asks, Roger gets’.
“Just remember that, because I have heard this s*** too often now. I’m sick and tired of it, that apparently I call the shots. The tournament and the TV stations do.
“We can give our opinion. That’s what we do. But I’m still going to walk out even if they schedule me at 04:00 in the morning.”