Denis Shapovalov news: ‘I think it’s unfair how much Rafael Nadal is getting away with’
An ailing Rafael Nadal battled to a five-set victory over Denis Shapovalov in a dramatic Australian Open quarter-final – and was then accused by his opponent of receiving preferential treatment.
The Canadian became involved in a row with umpire Carlos Bernardes at the start of the second set of his 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 defeat over the amount of time Nadal was taking to get ready to receive serve.
After Bernardes refused to give Nadal a time violation, the 22-year-old shouted: “You guys are all corrupt,” and he and Nadal then exchanged words at the net about the matter.
🗣 “You guys are all corrupt!” 😡#AusOpen
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) January 25, 2022
Shapovalov is far from the first opponent to complain about Nadal’s time-keeping but he went further in the press conference room, alleging that the 20-time Grand Slam champion is given an unfair advantage by officials.
“I think I misspoke when I said he’s corrupt,” explained Shapovalov. “It’s definitely emotional but I do stand by my side. I think it’s unfair how much Rafa is getting away with.
“I’m completely ready to play and the clock is ticking, clicking towards zero, and I’m looking at the umpire and obviously I’m going to speak up and say something.
“I’ve been ready to play for a minute and a half and he tells me he’s not going to give him a code violation because I’m not ready to play. To me, it’s a big joke.
“And then after the fourth set – last year I wasn’t allowed to take a toilet break when I asked for a medical. He had already taken two medicals. He was getting medically evaluated, and after the evaluation the guy goes and takes a toilet break.
“It’s like, where is the line? I respect everything that Rafa has done and I think he’s an unbelievable player. But there’s got to be some boundaries. 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.”
Asked if he feels Nadal receives preferential treatment, Shapovalov said: “Of course. One hundred per cent he does.”
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