The Tennis Curmudgeon

Dan Evans Suspension

Excuse me? What’s “inadvertent contamination”?

It is harsh penalty but what he did was illegal. His excuse by saying it was during off time doesn’t make it better. That said, I think he’s a safe scapegoat to make a point.

I just drilled down his career, which started in 2006 with his first ranking in the 1500’s. He didn’t get into triple digits until ’08. Never higher than 477 as he tumbled back to the 1000’s. In ’09 he rose into the 200-300’s where he stayed until 8/5/13 when he broke into the 100’s at 194 for the first time. He stayed in the 100’s for a year until 9/8/14 when he spent until 11/9/15 tumbling down as low as 763. He got into double digits for the first time at 97 5/2/16. He got as high (no pun intended) as 41 on 3/6/17 before falling back into the 100’s where he is currently 108.

I point that out for one reason: if he wasn’t the quintessential journeyman would they have come down as hard on him? What if it was someone on the tour just as long but a consistent top 50 would he have got hit as hard or at all? You know Evans was not alone and you know he was with other players when the “inadvertent contamination” took place. Why is he getting stomped alone? It’s an insular world like any type of business. Cops are going to be with cops, politicians are going to be with politicians, tennis players are going to be with tennis players. You don’t get to socialize with outsiders. I’m not defending him I’m just wondering if others are being left out and if he was a bigger name player would the punishment been as harsh?

All the writers in that story said he should have been punished but they owe their livelihood to the game. When was the last tennis news story broken by a tennis reporter? The organization tells them Sharapova is dirty; the organization needs them to polish the game so they do their bidding. Especially if they want a job. I understand how it works, you have a nice life, why rock the boat? It’s sportswriting not investigative journalism. But we’re also talking about another person’s career. But he’s just cannon fodder.

Tennis is having larger issues with substances now then when you toss in gambling, well, the game doesn’t need any more blackeyes. So they stomp Evans to make a point to everyone. He’s 27 with a year off. They’ve effectively halted his career. He’s not going to get any wild cards on his way back so if, after a year, he wants to slog it out again it’s going to be in the low rankings. Tough to get yourself up for that long climb again.


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