(Reuters) – British doubles player Jamie Murray has accused compatriot Dan Evans of making a “hash of his career” after Evans made disparaging comments about the doubles game.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Evans, who returned last year from a year-long ban for testing positive for cocaine, claimed doubles players were “people who didn’t make it at singles and people who didn’t have the attitude to work hard enough to make it in the singles game”.
Former doubles world number one Murray, winner of six doubles Grand Slam titles, hit back at his Davis Cup team mate after reaching the quarter-finals of the men’s and mixed events at the Australian Open on Monday.
“For Dan to just lazily trash the doubles game, it annoys me a lot,” Murray was quoted by British media.
“It is ill-informed and dumb. Also, to say the reason that we are on the doubles tour is because we don’t work as hard as the singles guys is just total nonsense.”
Evans, a former top 50 player, came through qualifying in Melbourne and pushed Roger Federer hard in the second round.
The spat began when Murray claimed that the Lawn Tennis Association was not making enough use of his coach and mentor Louis Cayer, with his comments being described by Evans as ludicrous.
It prompted Murray to responded on Monday: “I’ve been playing the tour since 2007, travelling the world, working my arse off to stay at the top of the game and make a living for myself.
“This comes from someone who really hasn’t applied himself as much as he should and has made a hash of his career with his decision-making.
“I still manage to make a good living. Let’s be honest, a lot better living than what Dan has done in his career.”
With Evans getting his career back on track and three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, Jamie’s younger brother, unlikely to be available, both could be involved in the revamped Davis Cup finals which take place in Madrid later this year.
“I mean, I’m friends with him (Evans),” Murray said. “You know what he’s like: he’s a character. He’ll shoot from the hip, he won’t necessarily think first before speaking but if that’s how he feels, that’s how he feels.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ian Chadband)