Brit’s generous offer to share a banana as a high-energy snack propels his opponent Andrey Rublev into the Australian Open round of 16
- Rublev stormed into the fourth round of the Grand Slam by defeating Brit Dan Evans
- It was a dominant straight-set performance by the Russian to win the match
- The big talking point, however, was that Evans shared his bananas with his opponent
- In a moment of great sportsmanship, he helped Rublev despite the score
There are acts of tennis sportsmanship, but this touching moment between rivals at the Australian Open really takes the…banana?
British pro Dan Evans may have lost his third-round match to Russia’s Andrey Rublev at Melbourne Park, but he won a crowd of new admirers for his generosity and sportsmanship.
Rublev won in straight sets, but it was that moment when he couldn’t find his mid-match snack that really stole the show.
Evan’s friendly offer of a banana during the second set may have been his downfall as his opponent found the energy to end the match in straight sets
Despite what was at stake, Evans kindly offered his opponent a banana from his own stash, helping Rublev to a dominant win.
Rublev gave up a paltry nine games in his straight-set win, the Russian delivering a reckless 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 win that left world No. 30 Evans scratching for answers.
The 25-year-old meets the winner of the duel between ninth-seeded Dane Holger Rune and Frenchman Ugo Humbert for a place in the quarter-finals.
“I asked the ball boy for a banana but Danny asked for bananas beforehand and he had two so he tossed me one,” said a smiling Rublev.
“He sure helped me with some energy – I win two extra games because I eat the banana.”
While Evans’ act of generosity may have backfired, it has captured the hearts of tennis fans around the world.
Rublev celebrates reaching the last 16 at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park in a dominant straight set win
Rublev and Evans shake hands at the net after the fight, which the Russian won comfortably in the end
“Should it be sports? This is fantastic! I love it,” wrote one fan.
“It takes the whole thing from its strictly professional vibe back to it’s just normal human stuff even for these guys,” wrote another.
“Now there is some footage for every ad agency to promote the Australian banana,” added another.
Balancing touch and finesse with some power hitting, Rublev hit 60 winners to 20 by Evans in the clinical two-hour, nine-minute feat that also included 10 aces.
He’s looking to eclipse his best Open run to date – reaching the quarterfinals in 2021 – while not progressing past the last eight at any Major.
Evans struggled in the match but was only able to hit 20 winners compared to his opponent’s 60, making it difficult for him to get into the match
Opponents took time out for a friendly word after the match, showing that the spirit of sportsmanship at the Australian Open is very much alive
Rublev was happy with his performance and felt his confidence was growing with every game.
He entered the Open in questionable form after losing both matches he played in both Adelaide tournaments, against home hope Thanasi Kokkinakis and Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
“Every game I play better and better and I’m really happy because I lost some tough games against great players at the beginning of the season,” said Rublev.
“I’ve lost a bit of confidence and I’m glad I’ve been playing really good tennis and improving since the first game here.
“After the first set I had confidence and that I could play better and faster and add another speed and once I did it I felt even better and I have a feeling he’s not comfortable.
“I tried to play even more aggressively and ended up playing really good tennis.”
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time a tennis player has graciously shared his bananas with an opponent.
At the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, Polish player Hubert Hurkacz presented the same clemency to Russian-born Kazakh player Alexander Bublik.
On this occasion, Bublik’s banana gift wasn’t enough, Hurkacz won in straight sets.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-11660513/Sporting-world-touched-Dan-Evans-sharing-banana-opponent-Australian-Open.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The sporting world was touched when Dan Evans shared a banana with his opponent at the Australian Open