The Davis Cup proved a very harsh start for Canada as Denis Shapovalov, a 17-year-old Canadian tennis player, was disqualified from the match after some really bad sportsmanship.
The tennis player fired a ball in frustration at the chair umpire after he lost a point in a Davis Cup match against Great Britain in Ottawa, Canada.
The furious moment of the frustrated tennis player was captured on camera.
Shapovalov missed a forehand long and he vented his frustration by drawing a second ball out of his pocket and hurling it at chair umpire Arnaud Gabas. The ball hit the man directly in the face, causing a bruise. The umpire needed first aid treatment.
After a discussion, the match umpire and referee Brian Earley halted the match and handed the victory to Britain.
Shapovalov regretted his frustrated action.
“I would just like to begin with apologizing to that referee and to all ITF officials, and to be honest all officials,” he said.
“I went back and spoke to the umpire afterwards and apologized directly to him. Luckily he was OK but obviously it's unacceptable behavior from me. I feel incredibly ashamed and embarrassed and I just feel awful for letting my team down, for letting my country down, for acting in a way that I would never want to act,” Shapovalov said .
He promised to learn from his mistake and said he will try to move past it.
Gabas was sent to Ottawa General Hospital where it was confirmed he just suffered bruising and swelling around his left eye.
Shapovalov’s captain, Martin Laurendeau, agreed with the disqualification but also said he has no hesitation in picking him again in future.
“I knew immediately the rules are the rules and you've got to play by the rules. He's got some great talent and it's just the beginning of his career. He'll draw a big lesson out of this.”
Athletes in all forms of sports are taught and trained for sportsmanship, which is a fair and generous behavior, especially in a sporting contest. Such an unsportsmanlike spirit landed Shapovalov in hot water and he was fined $7,000.
Tennis Canada came forward with their reaction on Twitter:
However, the Twitterati came forward with their support for Shapovalov:
@denis_shapo head up, brother. Just a bump in the long road of your career. You'll be fine!— John Isner (@JohnIsner) February 6, 2017
@denis_shapo you're 17 and demonstrate a lot more maturity than a lot of older players. Good apology.— Vitor Eugenio (@vitoreugenio) February 6, 2017
@denis_shapo tough break. Good learning lesson. Glad the Ump is ok. You will do great things for tennis in this country. Keep ur head up— Daniel Nestor (@DanielNestor9) February 6, 2017
@denis_shapo is a great kid. Tough accident today. We all made mistakes and learned from them. Head high bud. The journey is long.— Bruno Soares (@BrunoSoares82) February 5, 2017
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters