Shot to um­pire’s eye costs player $7,000

De­nis Shapo­valov fined for launch­ing ball that hit um­pire in the face

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

OT­TAWA — Cana­dian ten­nis player De­nis Shapo­valov was fined US$7,000 by the In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion on Mon­day for his on-court ac­tions in a Davis Cup match against Bri­tain a day ear­lier.

The 17-year-old from Rich­mond Hill lost via de­fault in the de­cid­ing match of the World Group firstround tie at TD Place after un­in­ten­tion­ally strik­ing chair um­pire Ar­naud Gabas in the eye with a ball.

After fir­ing a back­hand wide to give up a break to Kyle Ed­mund early in the third set, Shapo­valov pulled out the ex­tra ball from his pocket and launched it in frus­tra­tion. Gabas was struck near the left eye and ref­eree Brian Ear­ley de­clared an im­me­di­ate de­fault for un­sports­man­like con­duct.

“Last night at my Davis Cup match I did some­thing very un­pro­fes­sional and in­ex­cus­able,” Shapo­valov said Mon­day in a state­ment on Twit­ter. “In the heat of the mo­ment after los­ing a game I lost the con­trol of my emo­tions and hit the ball with an in­ten­tion of hit­ting out of the court. Un­for­tu­nately and ab­so­lutely un­in­ten­tion­ally I hit Mr. Ar­naud Gabas, the chair um­pire. There is no ex­cuse for this be­hav­iour and I take full re­spon­si­bil­ity for my ac­tion. I’m very sorry to Mr. Gabas to whom I apol­o­gized in per­son. Very sorry for let­ting my Davis Cup team­mates down and for let­ting my coun­try down.

“I apol­o­gize to all the ten­nis fans, to my sup­port­ers and my spon­sors. I feel ashamed of my un­pro­fes­sional be­hav­iour and will ac­cept any con­se­quences as re­sult of my ac­tion. I prom­ise that I will learn from this and that this will not hap­pen again. I hope you guys can for­give me.”

No fur­ther dis­ci­plinary ac­tion was ex­pected, the ITF said Mon­day in a state­ment.

Gabas had swelling and bruis­ing un­der his eye and was taken to Ot­tawa Gen­eral Hospi­tal. A pre­cau­tion­ary eval­u­a­tion did not find any dam­age to the cornea or retina.

Gabas will un­dergo fur­ther checks with his per­sonal eye doc­tor on Tues­day in France, the ITF said.

Ed­mund was given a 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 vic­tory as Bri­tain ad­vanced to the World Group quar­ter-fi­nals with the 3-2 win. Canada will be forced to play a World Group play­off tie to keep its spot at the elite level for 2018.


Um­pire Ar­naud Gabas of France holds his face after be­ing hit by a ball dur­ing a Davis Cup match Sun­day that re­sulted in the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of Cana­dian De­nis Shapo­valov, right.


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