“It’s the worst nightmare,” the commentator on TV said. And it was. 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov was trying to get his Canadian team into the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup against Great Britain earlier today when things took a horrible turn.
Down two sets and in deep trouble after getting broken in the deciding rubber against Kyle Edmund, Shapovalov smacked a ball in frustration except this one found the face of the chair umpire Arnaud Gabas. Ouch!
The result: An immediate disqualification and it was game, set, match to Edmund 63, 64, 21, def and the tie to Great Britain 3-2. What a heartbreaking way to lose, especially in front of your home fans in Ottawa.
— Matthew (@MRisingStar18) February 5, 2017
Yup – Shapovalov defaulted. Slammed a ball after being broken, went off the umpire's mike and hit his eye. pic.twitter.com/hbLNYSHgch
— Stephanie Myles (@OpenCourt) February 5, 2017
The ITF later announced Shapovolov would be fined $7,000 (USD) for the offense.
“Shapovalov did not intend to hit Mr Gabas and personally apologized to him after the incident. No further action is anticipated,” the ITF said in a statement. “Mr Gabas went to Ottawa General Hospital for checks on his left eye Sunday night. No damage to the cornea or retina was reported. He will be undergoing further checks with his personal eye doctor in France on Tuesday.”
Shapovalov said he was embarrassed by the incident.
“I’d like to apologize to the ITF officials and all officials,” Shapovalov said. “I went back and spoke to the [umpire] after, and apologized directly to him. Luckily he was okay, but obviously it’s unacceptable behavior from me.
“To be honest, I feel incredibly ashamed and embarrassed. I feel awful for letting my team down, for letting my country down, for acting a way that I would never want to act. I can promise that’s the last time I will do anything like that. I’m going to learn from this and try to move past. I was very lucky that the referee was okay.”
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