After the first round of his duel against Rafael Nadal, Denis Shapovalov had a run-in with the official Carlos Bernardes. “You are all corrupt!” he told the referee before resuming play.
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A controversial statement released by the Canadian who found that Nadal was taking too long between his services. It should be mentioned that the servers have a limit of 25 seconds to put the ball in play.
Nadal, with all his nervous tics, tends to use all the time he can, and then some, to hit the ball.
“I misspoke when I said he was corrupt or whatever I said,” Shapovalov said after his five-set loss. It was emotional, but I remain on my position.
“It’s unfair the way Rafa (Nadal) got away with it. I’m ready to play and the dial shows 3, 2, 1 to zero. I look at the referee and for sure I will say something. I’ve been waiting for a minute and a half.
“He tells me he won’t give him a warning because I’m not ready to play. For me, it’s a big joke.”
There was another incident after round four. Shapovalov also blames Bernardes for allowing Nadal to go to the bathroom after being assessed by a doctor on the pitch.
“Last year I was not allowed to go to the toilet after asking for medical assistance. He (Nadal) had already had two medical breaks. Where is the line? Where will it end?”
Although he respects Nadal and his record, Shapovalov believes Nadal gets preferential treatment from the officials.
“I am 100% convinced of it,” he said. In my other matches in the tournament, the pace was fast because the referees were checking the dial at every point.
“The first two runs lasted only 90 minutes because he was taking his time. The referee gave him too much time between sets.
A confusing Christmas
It’s not the first time in his career that Nadal has been criticized for being slow between points and sets. He didn’t really understand what was happening between his opponent and the referee.
“I took a little longer at the end of the first run because I had to change,” explained Nadal. I think it’s normal for a referee to give more time at the end of each round to allow you to change your clothes, especially in wet conditions like this.
“Denis was angry because the referee gave me 30 more seconds so I could finish putting my clothes on. I think Carlos was fair in giving me more time. I believe that Denis was not right in this situation.
The Mallorcan doesn’t believe he’s entitled to preferential treatment from the officials.
“I do not believe. At least not in this specific situation. On the pitch, I don’t deserve better treatment than the others. I don’t want one and I don’t feel like I have one.
“Everyone knows that I have huge respect for Carlos and I think he is a good referee.”
He had a message for Shapovalov.
“It’s a shame for him. I think he gave an excellent performance for a good part of the match. I know it’s hard to lose a match like this. You feel that you are demolished.
“We all make mistakes during our career. I committed several when I was younger. He will surely understand one day that he was not right.