A 22-year-old rising star called the Australian Open's umpires 'corrupt' and smashed his racket in fury as he lost to Rafa Nadal
- Denis Shapovalov was beaten by Rafael Nadal in five sets at the Australian Open quarterfinals.
- The 22-year-old was unhappy with the amount of time the Spaniard took in between points.
- He accused the tournament's umpires of being "corrupt" and giving Nadal preferential treatment.
Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov accused umpires at the Australian Open of being "corrupt" and giving Rafael Nadal "special treatment" after he lost to the Spaniard in the tournament's quarterfinals.
Shapovalov pulled off one of the biggest victories of his career to beat third seed Alexander Zverev in the fourth round on Sunday, and put on an equally spirited performance against Nadal on Tuesday.
After going two sets down, the 22-year-old rallied to level and take the match to five sets.
Unfortunately for the Canadian, he was unable to stop his opponent taking the fifth set to seal a 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 victory and a place in the semifinals.
Long before his comeback, however, Shapovalov became frustrated with the amount of time Nadal was taking between points and hit out at the umpire for failing to give the world number five a time violation.
"You started the clock so long ago and he's still not ready to play," Shapovalov said to chair umpire Carlos Bernardes. "You've got to call him."
He then added: "You guys are all corrupt. You guys are all corrupt."
In his post-match press conference, Shapovalov then doubled down on his belief that Nadal — who is known for his slow play — is often not suitably punished for the length time he takes in between points.
Asked if he felt Nadal gets preferential treatment, the Canadian said. "Of course. 100% he does.
"Every other match that I have played, the pace has been so quick because the refs have been on the clock after every single point.
"This one, I mean, after the first two sets it was like an hour and a half just because he's dragged out so much after every single point. He's given so much time in between sets and all this. It's just dragged out."
He did, however, rescind his accusation of corruption against the umpire, saying: "I think I misspoke when I said he's corrupt or whatever I said."
Shapovalov also seemed to take issue with Nadal taking a toilet break directly after being medically treated for a what seemed to be a stomach issue at the end of the fourth set.
"He was getting medically evaluated, that's what the [umpire] said after the fourth set, getting medically evaluated, and after the evaluation the guy goes and takes a toilet break," he said.
"It's like, where is the line?"
He added: "I respect everything that Rafa has done and I think he's an unbelievable player. But, you know, there's got to be some boundaries, some rules set. It's just so frustrating as a player. You know, you feel like you're not just playing against the player; you're playing against the umpires, you're playing against so much more."
Having lost to Nadal, Shapovalov proceeded to take out his anger on his racquet, smashing it on the court and leaving it behind as he headed to the locker rooms.
Nadal, who is looking to win a record breaking 21st career Grand Slam title, next plays either Matteo Berrettini or Gael Monfils in the last four.Read the original article on Insider