Post the quarter- final match against Rafael Nadal today, Denis Shapovalov alleged that umpires were ‘corrupted’ and the Spanish tennis pro was getting ‘preferential treatment‘ by them.
No sooner than later, Nadal hit back at the Canadian Shapovalov’s claims and dismissed them.
Denis Shapovalov exchanged a heated conversation with the umpire shouting- “You guys are all corrupt.” The 22 year old said it was ‘unfair’ that Rafael Nadal was getting long breaks before starting a game or serving.
During the five- set thriller quarter- final, Nadal called the medical professional to treat his stomach issues, before he headed to the washroom. Canadian Shapovalov was clearly not happy with the time the Spaniard was taking at the beginning of the second set and how long he was taking to get ready to receive a serve.
When the chair umpire, Carlos Bernardes refused to give a time violation to Rafael Nadal, Denis Shapovalov lost his cool and slammed Bernardes for his biased treatment.
Later, during the post- match press conference too, the Canadian athlete continued to justify his claim. Denis stated- “I think I misspoke when I said he’s corrupt or whatever I said. It’s definitely emotional, but I do stand by my side. I think it’s unfair how much Rafa is getting away with.”
Furthermore, he said when he is ready to play and the clock is ticking, he will definitely speak up to the umpire, in that case. “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,” Shapovalov added.
Recalling his experience at the Australian Open 2021, Denis stated- “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?” Shapovalov respects Nadal, but at the same time he thinks Rafael undoubtedly gets preferential treatment.
Rafael Nadal dismissed Shapovalov’s claims at the conference
During the interview after the match, Nadal was asked if he has earned the right for special treatment on court. The World No. 4 responded that he never felt he has an advantage on court.
“I really believe that on the court you don’t deserve better treatment than the others. And I really don’t want it and I don’t feel I have it”-Rafael said in the post-match press conference.
Speaking about the chair Umpire Bernardes, he stated-“Without a doubt, even as everybody knows, that I have a huge respect for Carlos, and I think he’s a great umpire. Is it not the case that he was always hard with me on court, no? No, no, I don’t think that’s the case.”
Rafael claimed that Denis is completely wrong with his accusations, and that it is a myth that top players have advantages on the court.
This preferential treatment controversy seemed to overshadow the otherwise remarkable match. The Canadian lost to Nadal in a five set thriller of scores-3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and 3-6.
Appreciating Denis’ exceptional performance, Rafael shared that he felt destroyed at a point during the match.
Moreover, Nadal concluded by saying-“I wish him all the very best. He’s young, and 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.”
Rafael is scheduled to meet Italian Matteo Berrettini on 27 January for the Australian Open Semifinals.