Denis Shapovalov ‘ashamed and embarrassed’ after default
Canada’s Denis Shapovalov has profusely apologised after hitting the umpire with a ball during the Davis Cup tie with Great Britain.
The 17-year-old whacked the ball in frustration during his decisive rubber with Kyle Edmund, inadvertently finding the eye of umpire Arnaud Gabas.
Match referee Brian Earley halted the contest, sending GB through to a quarter-final clash with France in April, while Gabas was sent to Ottawa General Hospital for precautionary tests after suffering a bruised and swollen left eye.
Edmund was two sets and a break ahead when Shapovalov lost his temper.
‘I LET MY COUNTRY DOWN’
"I feel incredibly ashamed and embarrassed and I just feel awful for letting my team down, for letting my country down, for acting in a way that I would never want to act," a remorseful Shapovalov said afterwards.
" 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 it."
Umpire Arnaud Gabas holds an ice pack to his eye after being struck by a ball during a singles match between Canada's Denis Shapovalov and Britain's Kyle EdmundReuters
SUPPORT FROM FELLOW PROS
ACCIDENTAL OR RECKLESS?
Walloping the ball in frustration is always risky. Just ask Tim Henman, who was defaulted at Wimbledon in 1995 for hitting a ball girl in the head. Sure, it’s unfortunate Shapovalov hit the umpire, but it could just have easily struck someone in the crowd. Better to stick to old-fashioned racquet smashes, and take a violation on the chin, than chance causing serious injury.
Having said that, he’s 17. He was immediately apologetic, suggesting his path to atonement has already started. He’s not the first player to be defaulted for accidental, but violent, outbursts. Hopefully he will live up to his word and learn a valuable lesson.