Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov got into a row with the officials at the Italian Open and even volleyed abuse at fans as he lost his cool.
Shapovalov was facing home favourite Lorenzo Sonego in Rome on Monday and got into a heated exchange with umpire Richard Haigh.
The Canadian had initially been awarded a point after Sonego hit his return out, before the umpire overruled the decision on closer inspection at the mark.
Shapovalov contested the mark used and climbed over the net to make his point.
ATP rules state you cannot cross over to an opponents side at any point in the match, meaning he received a point penalty following an earlier code violation.
Haigh said: “I understand it was a kick serve, that’s the mark I had but I didn’t think it was that short. Denis, listen because you crossed the net you’re going to get another code violation. You can’t cross the net.”
Haigh added: “Listen, Denis, I know what you were doing.”
Shapovalov: “I’m not doing anything unsportsmanlike. How can you give me a point penalty for that?”
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Haigh: “That’s just the rule.”
Shapovalov: “No, it’s not it’s stupid. That’s so unfair. Call the supervisor I showed you the mark.”
The Canadian made the same points to the supervisor, much to the displeasure of the crowd in Rome.
Amid the booing he received, Shapovalov shouted: “Shut the f*** up.” He then received a game penalty for his foul-mouthed outburst.
He then asked for the spectator to be ejected, but the umpire said he would not as he was not sure what Shapovalov saw.
The 2021 Wimbledon semi-finalist then explained further about what happened after he came through 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3 against Sonego.
“He was just telling me to get off the court, get out of there, waving me off the court, trying to obviously get under my skin or whatnot,” Shapovalov told a press conference.
“I think the umpire just needs to keep an eye on it if a player mentions something.
“The reason why [the heckler] didn’t get kicked out was because [the umpire] told me he didn’t see what happened. That’s very understandable. I feel like he kept an eye on him after that. It didn’t bother me after that.
“I think in the NBA there’s a lot of hecklers and stuff like that. They’re pretty strict, the security and everything, that [the fans] don’t cross the line. If they do, they’re kicked out right away.
“Obviously, I think it’s a heat-of-the-moment kind of thing. I just need to improve with handling myself about that,” he continued.
“But in terms of going forward, I’ve played in Rome a lot of times. The fans love me here and I love the fans… Even after the match, there were a lot of people standing, waiting for pictures, stuff like that.
“I do really appreciate the sport and the love I get here. I’m super excited to play another match – not against an Italian,” he joked.
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Source: TalkSport.com Tennis