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:
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.
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.