Rafael Nadal says he neither receives nor wants special treatment after his epic, five-set, testy quarter-final win against Denis Shapovalov.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner eventually would win through in four hours and 10 minutes but it was a match marked by testy exchanges.
Shapovalov said in his post-match press conference he misspoke when he used the term “corrupt” to describe umpire Carlos Bernardes perceived lack of action against Nadal for tardiness. However, the Canadian did intimate that top players receive special treatment.
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But when asked whether he and other top players had earned special treatment, Nadal was resolute.
“No. Not in that case, no, no,” said Nadal.
“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.
“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?
“I really believe that sometimes the -- it's always in the mind that the top players get bigger advantages, no, and honestly on court is not true, no? That's my feeling. I never feel that I had advantages on court!
“If I am not wrong, in the last couple of years we have a clock, we increase the measures to make the things more fair for everyone, no?"
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Shapovalov had – in the heat of battle – uttered the word “corrupt” as he railed against Nadal and the umpire’s reluctance to hit the Spaniard for a time violation. The Canadian rowed back on those comments during his post-match press conference and Nadal said he understood the 14th seed’s frustrations.
“I honestly feel sorry for him,” he said.
“I think he played a great match for a long time. 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 match, no?
“I wish him all the very best. I think he will -- he's young, and everybody, I think we all make mistakes on our careers. I made 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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