Denis Shapovalov receives fine for umpire incident

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Umpire Arnaud Gabas after the hit. Photo Credit: Dailymail.co.uk

Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov has been fined £5,600, after he hit the umpire in the eye with a ball during his Davis Cup match against Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund.

Shapovalov was losing 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 when he sensationally hit the ball in anger. The 17-year-old had no intention of hitting umpire Arnaud Gabas, and has since stated that he was attempting to hit the ball out of court in frustration.

The moment of madness meant that GB were awarded a default win, prompting the youngster to release a statement apologising for “letting his country down”.

The fine is broken down into two different disciplinary sections: $2,000 is for the default, and $5,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct. Shapovalov will feel lucky, as he escaped the maximum fine of $12,000, because the incident was deemed to be unintentional.

The default handed GB the progression in the Cup, after Vasek Pospisil had beaten Dan Evans to make it 2-2 overall, setting up the decider between Shapovalov and Edmund.

The video of the incident happening quickly went viral on social media, and can be seen below:

In happier news, Tickets for Roland Garros are now available for purchase, and with the tournament now just a few months away it’s definitely time to consider making your purchase.

Novak Djokovic is the early favourite at 9/5, with Rafael Nadal at 11/4 and world number one Andy Murray 4/1.

Nadal will play at Queens club this summer

Rafael Nadal remains one of the biggest names in the sport of tennis, and is still many fans’ favourite despite having now not won one of the Grand Slam tournaments since 2014. But those fans will be delighted to hear that the Spaniard will be partaking in this summers Queens club tournament due to start on June 13th.

The 29-year-old is currently ranked 5th in the world and has played at Queens club on six different occasions, and even won the event back in 2008.

Nadal told the press that Queens club gives players the “perfect conditions” to prepare for Wimbledon, which begins a week after the conclusion of Queens on June 27th.

“I love playing at the Queen’s Club and I am very happy that I will be back this year. I will never forget winning the title in 2008; it was a special moment, and going on to win my first Wimbledon.

“Holding that trophy again would be amazing, although I am well aware of the difficulties because the tournament always has so many good players.”

Andy Murray has also confirmed his presence at the event, and will attempting to retain his crown having won last years tournament.

The Scot was left heartbroken after losing the Australian Open to Novak Djokovic in recent weeks, but will be looking to make amends back on home soil.

A recent post from the ‘Rafa Nadal Academy’ which looks to find the tennis stars of the future.

Two Brits progress in Aus Open qualifiers

Dan Evans in action

Dan Evans and James Ward have both progressed to within two victories of making the draw for the Australian Open, having progressed in the first found of the qualifiers.

Evans’ win saw him lose serve just once during his match with Italy’s top seed Luca Vanni. He defeated Vanni 7-6 (7-5) 6-4, and will face Israeli Amir Weintraub in round two of three.

Evans, 25, was born in Birmingham and turned pro in 2005. The Englishman is currently ranked 185th in the world, and reached a career high of 123rd in February 2014.

Ward was also in impressive form as he unleashed 16 aces in 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 victory over Canada’s Peter Polanski.

Born in England’s capital city, London, Ward reached a career high of 89th in the world in July 2015, and currently sits 155th at 28 years of age.

The Australian Open starts on Monday and marks the start of a new season of Tennis.

There was a pre-tournament scare for Aussie Nick Kyrgios as he pulled out of the opening match at the Kooyong Classic. David Goffin was awarded victory as Kyrgios pulled out with a reported foot injury, but later let his fans on Twitter know that it was just precautionary:

Davis cup final to be held on clay in Ghent

Belgium have today confirmed that the already eagerly awaited final for the Davis cup against Great Britain will be at the Flanders Expo, a 13,000 capacity stadium, with the surface also being confirmed as clay.

Britain made history this week as they reached their first Davis cup final in over 37 years, beating Australia to get to this stage, with the Brits being impressively led by captain and world number 3 Andy Murray.

There may problems with the proposed dates for the final, as officials told of the final being played from 27-29 November. Murray would have been participating in the World Tour Finals until November 22nd, leaving him with just five days for his body to recover before he headed to Belgium.

Murray told the press today he would need a substantial amount of time to let his body recover and to deal with the transition from hard court to clay.

“If you reach the final and play on the Sunday you also need to take time off – you can’t just play five matches against the best players in the world and then not take any days off.”

Despite the potential fixture meaning he may need to miss one of the big tournaments, the Scot is clearly happy to hear that the surface is on clay, as he tweeted:

“So Ghent on the clay for the Davis Cup final – very pumped! Think clay is a good surface for us.”

Belgium were handed the advantage of playing in front of their own nation due to the rotation policy the Davis cup instills, meaning that nations alternate hosting every time they face each other, and with Britain having last hosted the two nations in Glasgow in 2012, it meant it was Belgium’s turn. Belgium won that year convincingly with a tally of four wins to GB’s one.

Good man Murray to donate £50 to Unicef for every ace

Andy Murray has announced that he will donate £50 to Unicef for every ace he completes for the remainder of the season, in a bid to aid the ongoing refugee crisis, which is something the Scot has clearly taken to heart.

The occasional tennis watcher may watch Murray’s occasional tantrums on court and judge him for doing so, but for the tennis enthusiasts, this generous news will not come as so much of a surprise.

Murray said he felt he needed to act and help in anyway he could after following the news updates of the thousands of refugees, who are making their way across Europe to seek asylum, escaping the conflict in their home nations.

“I felt I had to do something to help the millions of children and their families who have been forced to flee their homes.

“I’ll get that little bit more satisfaction from each ace I hit.”

Following Murray’s generous proposal, one of his sponsors, the Association of Tennis Professionals and the Lawn Tennis Association have also agreed to match his £50 pledge – meaning each ace will be worth £200 to Unicef.

The British number one takes on Thanasi Kokkinakis on Friday at 1pm in the Davis Cup, as his British teammates look to reach the final for the first time in 40 years as they take on Australia.