‘Dumb, ignorant, lazy’: Open’s mega feud
BRITISH tennis is on the verge of civil war with two Davis Cup stars going public with their feud at the Australian Open.
For four days Scottish doubles star Jamie Murray and English bad boy Dan Evans have traded salty barbs through media interviews at the Australian Open - and there is no sign of reconciling the angry pair.
Jamie Murray, the brother of Andy, delivered pure venom on Monday when responding to Evans' bizarre claims that doubles players do not deserve to be celebrated because they simply weren't good enough or didn't train hard enough to make it in singles.
The whole farce was sparked by Murray's initial claims last week that all forms of tennis success, including doubles, deserves more prominence in British tennis and that his doubles coach Louis Cayer should be given a more prominent role in British tennis.
Evans responded by labelling Murray's call "ludicrous".
"It's a ludicrous comment. Jamie thinks we should be celebrating six pairs inside the main draw of a grand slam," Evans said.
"So we are celebrating 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?"
Murray responded with a brutal shot at Evans' track record of scandals and poor judgment calls. Evans only returned to the tennis circuit in April after serving a one-year ban for testing positive for cocaine.
He said he would not suffer Evans' comments because the world No. 189 has "made a hash" of his own career.
"For me, they are lazy comments to make," Murray said. "It is ill-informed and dumb really.
"To question 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.
"I've been playing the tour since 2007, travelling the world, working my ass off to stay at the top of the game and make a living for myself.
"To come out with those sort of comments is just ignorant I think. It's really disappointing."
Murray said the men's and women's singles draws receive 80 per cent of prize money on the international circuit, but declared he has been able to make a very wealthy living through his career.
The numbers also back up Murray's claim.
Murray's current career earnings stand at $4,277,708, compared to Evans' total of $1,414,593.
"We've got a much smaller slice of the pie, but I still manage to make a good living playing tennis. Let's be honest, a lot better living than what Dan has done in his career," Murray said.
"If he does something that's noteworthy and deserves recognition then absolutely he should get it, along with anybody else that's got a GBR next to their name. But just to kind of lazily trash the doubles game, for me it annoys me a lot."
Britain has the highest number of doubles players ranked inside the top 60 with seven players.
The war of words hasn't stopped Murray from carrying on with his business.
Alongside Brazilian partner Bruno Soares, he's through to the men's doubles quarter-finals at the Australian Open with a come-from-behind win over German Kevin Krawietz and Croat Nikola Mektic 6-7 6-2 7-5 where they needed to defend three match points in a thrilling third set.