Rafael Nadal news: Spaniard rejects Denis Shapovalov’s claims that he receives preferential treatment

Australian Open
Rafael Nadal in action

Rafael Nadal has hit back at Denis Shapovalov following the Canadian’s allegations that he receives preferential treatment from officials.

The duo were involved in heated quarter-final encounter at the Australian Open with Nadal coming out on top with a 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 scoreline at Rod Laver Arena.

The drama started in the second set when Shapovalov was ready to receive serve, but Nadal took a bit too long for his liking. The Canadian challenged chair umpire Carlos Bernardes.

After the official refused to give the 20-time Grand Slam winner a time violation, the 22-year-old lashed out and shouted: “You guys are all corrupt.”

During the press conference he admitted the word “corrupt” was too strong, but he didn’t hold back.

“I think I misspoke when I said he’s corrupt,” Shapovalov said. “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.”

Nadal dismissed the claims that the top players receive preferential treatment and believes Shapovalov will learn from the episode.

“I really believe that it’s always in the mind that the top players get bigger advantages and, honestly, on court it’s not true,” he said.

“That’s my feeling. I never feel that I had advantages on court, and I really believe that he’s wrong in that case. In the last couple of years we have a clock, we increase the measures to make the things more fair for everyone.

“I honestly feel sorry for him. 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.

“I wish him all the very best. He’s young, and I think we all make mistakes in our careers. I make 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.”

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