'It should be equal for everyone' - Denis Shapovalov hits out after testy Rafael Nadal clash at Australian Open
“At the end of the day, when you step on the court it should be equal for everyone,” said Denis Shapovalov after his fiery clash with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open. The Canadian had let rip at both Nadal and umpire Carlos Bernardes during the match. And the world No. 14 also took aim at the behaviour of some fans during his post-match press conference.
'You guys are all corrupt!' - Shapovalov in angry outburst at umpire over Nadal conduct
In his post-match press conference, the 22-year-old clarified his comments, saying that he misspoke. However, he did add that he felt sometimes the odds were stacked against the emerging crop of stars, referencing some of the behaviour of some fans towards Daniil Medvedev.
“I mean, I think I misspoke when I said he's corrupt or whatever I said,” began Shapovalov.
“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.
“I mean, I'm completely ready to play and the clock is ticking 3, 2, 1, clicking towards zero, and I'm looking at the ump, and, you know, 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 if somebody says that.
“And then after the fourth set, I mean, the guy goes - and for the same thing 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, 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.
“It's like, where is the line? Where are you going to step on the players and say, Okay - and again, 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.”
‘What do you want?’ - Umpire hits back at Shapovalov for criticising him over Nadal
Shapovalov was asked whether some players were in awe of the ‘Big Three’ of Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and the Canadian added that he felt the odds were at times stacked against the emerging crop of players.
Specifically, he took exception to the behaviour of some fans towards Medvedev. The Russian lashed out at fans for distracting him between serves during his stormy encounter with Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open, claiming “those who are doing it probably have a low IQ”, and it was a point that the Canadian was eager to address.
“For sure. Look, like I said, I do respect and appreciate all that they have done, you know?
'It's unfair how much Rafa is getting away with' - Shapovalov on time-wasting anger
“The same thing, I'm just going to add, like the fans, like Daniil said, the fans are cheering in between first and second serves. I mean, out of respect to all the players, like, it shouldn't be happening. I feel like if you're a tennis fan you should understand, like both players are giving an effort. I understand all they have done, I understand all the success.
“But, yeah, you're out there trying your best. Why are you clapping in between first and second serves? It's so unnecessary, you know,” added Shapovalov.
“But, yeah, for sure, I mean, I just feel like it should just be more even, you know. Already on their own they're so tough to beat and it's so difficult, but if you give them more advantages, more advantages, then it just becomes that much harder every time.
“Again, 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.”
'I was just trying to survive, I was destroyed physically' - Nadal after Shapovalov win
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