Denis Shapovalov of Canada came back to win on Monday in Rome after a noisy altercation with the chair umpire and then screaming frustrations to the audience.
In a thrilling first-round match at the Italian Open, the No. 13 seed defeated Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3.
After stepping over the net to contest a line call in the second set, Shapovalov was penalized a point by umpire Richard Haigh for unsportsmanlike behavior, resulting in a break for Sonego.
Shapovalov complained to a supervisor about the rule, which he called “ridiculous.” Shapovalov was captured on camera screaming at the fans to “shut the f— up” while disputing with the crowd.
After the match, Shapovalov apologized to the umpire while shaking hands with Haigh.
Shapovalov claimed in his post-match press conference that he has to “improve my behavior.”
“I’d never done it (stepped over the net) before, or I would have known the regulations.” Yes, as I already stated, I became emotional in the heat of the moment. After that, I apologized. I made a mistake. They are powerless to help.
“I’ll remember the rule for the next time.” I’m not going to cross the line.”
At the ATP 1000 clay-court event, the Canadian responded impressively, dominating the third set against the world No. 28.
“I haven’t figured it out yet.” I believe it was a spur-of-the-moment decision. “I just need to work on my restraint in that area,” he explained.
Sonego had difficulties with the umpire as well.
He claimed he was penalized by a ruling in the first set when Haigh came down to check a mark and gave an overrule, awarding the point to Shapovalov despite the Italian’s belief that the issue should have replay.
In the third set, there was also a controversial overrule.
Sonego replied, “Things like that shouldn’t happen.” “Video replay use.” That may be beneficial to the umpire.”
At last week’s Madrid Open, video review employs call lines. In Rome, however, such a system does not exist.
Last year, Shapovalov came up short against Rafael Nadal in a three-set round-of-16 match in Rome, despite having two match points. Shapovalov has advanced to the semifinals the year before.
In the second round, the Canadian will face Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.