Denis Shapovalov loses it on Aussie Open umpire: 'You guys are all corrupt'

·3-min read
Denis Shapovalov let his frustrations fly during his quarterfinal match with Rafael Nadal on Monday night. (Screen grab via Twitter/@wwos)
Denis Shapovalov let his frustrations fly during his quarterfinal match with Rafael Nadal on Monday night. (Screen grab via Twitter/@wwos)

Playing in the Australian Open certainly comes with its stressors, and that was especially true for Denis Shapovalov Monday night as he squared off with one of the world's best in the quarterfinals.

After upsetting No. 3 ranked Alexander Zverev in straight sets in the fourth round less than two days before, Shapovalov let his frustrations fly in his epic five-set loss to No. 6 Rafael Nadal, starting with a heated tirade directed at chair umpire Carlos Bernardes.

After dropping the first set 3-6 to a top-of-form Nadal, Shapovalov lost it when he believed Nadal was given additional time to change ends — something Nadal has been accused of before.

"You started the clock so long ago and [Nadal is] still not ready to play," Shapo yelled toward the umpire. “You've got to code him."

“He is not ready to play,” Bernardes replied.

“Are you kidding me? You guys are all corrupt,” Shapovalov responded.

Moments later, Shapo stared down Bernardes once again, before the umpire gave it right back.

"He is out of order. The clock was at seven and he had his hands in the air like Rafa was doing something wrong," the broadcast's commentary team said of the Canadian's method of voicing his frustrations on that particular play.

"Shapovalov is out of order here."

To Nadal’s credit, he later walked to the middle of the court and attempted to settle the dispute and calm his opponent down, which seemingly diffused things.

Shapovalov addressed the situation following the match, saying he got carried away in the heat of the moment. But he did stand by his implication that Nadal benefited from preferential treatment.

"I think I misspoke when I said (Bernardes) is corrupt, or whatever I said. It's definitely emotional, but I do stand by my side,” Shapovalov said. “I think it's unfair how much Rafa is getting away with.

“Where is the line? … I respect everything that Rafa has done and I think he's an unbelievable player. But there have got to be some boundaries, some rules set. It's just so frustrating as a player. You feel like you're not just playing against the player; you're playing against the umpires, you're playing against so much more.”

Nadal chalked Shapovalov's comments up to a combination of youth and frustration.

“I honestly feel sorry for him," Nadal said. "I think he played a great match for a long time. Of course it’s tough to accept to lose a match like this. Especially after I was feeling destroyed and probably he felt that, and then I was able to manage to win the match, no?”

“He's young. I made a lot of mistakes too when I was younger, and probably he will understand later on, after he thinks the proper way, that probably he was not right today.”

To be fair to Shapo — though his words likely did cross the line — having to try and cope with a vintage Nadal performance like this one would frustrate the hell out of anybody.

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