Denis Shapovalov blasts Australian Open umpire as ‘corrupt,’ says Rafael Nadal ‘100%’ gets shown favoritism

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Canadian tennis player Denis Shapovalov openly criticized Rafael Nadal following his quarterfinal loss at the Australian Open on Monday, saying the World No. 6 is “100%” given preferential treatment after calling the umpires during the match “corrupt.” 

Nadal advanced to the semifinals after a grueling five-set victory over Shapovalov, but during the match, Shapovalov blasted chair umpire Carlos Bernardes over what he believed were time violations by Nadal. 

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Dennis Shapovalov of Canada complains about how much time Rafael Nadal of Spain is taking between points during day nine of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Jan. 25, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. 
(Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

“You started the clock so long ago and [Nadal is] still not ready to play,” he said, approaching Bernardes after dropping 3-6 in the first set. “You’ve got to code him.”

As he was preparing to serve, Bernardes appeared to hold the game, to which Shapovalov said, “[Nadal is] is not ready to play.” 

The umpire responded, suggesting Shapovalov was not ready to play after approaching him. Shapovalov fired back: “Are you kidding me? You guys are all corrupt.” 

After the match, Shapovalov clarified his remarks, saying he “misspoke” on the game officials but stood by his stance on Nadal. 

“I misspoke when I said he’s corrupt or whatever I said,” he said after the match, via Reuters. “It’s definitely emotional, but I do stand by my side. I think it’s unfair, you know, how much Rafa is getting away with.”

Canada's Denis Shapovalov speaks with the umpire while playing against Spain's Rafael Nadal during their men's singles quarterfinal match on day nine of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan. 25, 2022.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov speaks with the umpire while playing against Spain’s Rafael Nadal during their men’s singles quarterfinal match on day nine of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan. 25, 2022.
(Photo by AARON FRANCIS/AFP via Getty Images)

“.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,” he continued.”  “I’m not trying to take away anything they’ve done, of course, they’re great champions, they’re the legends of the game. But at the end of the day, when you step on the court it should be equal for everyone.”

When asked directly by reporters if he felt Nadal received preferential treatment, Shapovalov agreed.

“Of course – 100% he does, 100%. 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,” he said, via the BBC. “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 if somebody says that.”

Spain's Rafael Nadal (L) talks to Canada's Denis Shapovalov during their men's singles quarterfinal match on day nine of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan. 25, 2022.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal (L) talks to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during their men’s singles quarterfinal match on day nine of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan. 25, 2022.
(Photo by AARON FRANCIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Nadal shot down Shapovalov’s assertion after the match. 

“I honestly feel sorry for him. I think he played a great match for a long time,” he said. “Of course is 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 Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News


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