Australian Open: Denis Shapovalov says Rafael Nadal has preferential treatment | Tennis News
Denis Shapovalov alleges Rafael Nadal is given an unfair advantage by the officials, saying: “It’s like, where’s the line? I respect everything Rafa has done and I think he’s an amazing player . But there must be limits”; Nadal denied the Canadian’s accusations
Last update: 01/25/22 3:37 p.m.
Denis Shapovalov says it’s ‘unfair’ that Rafael Nadal is receiving preferential treatment from referees following his fiery Australian Open quarter-final exit at the hands of the Spaniard.
The Canadian was embroiled in a heated exchange with referee Carlos Bernardes during their five-set loss to Nadal on a steamy afternoon at Melbourne Park.
Shapovalov made it clear that he was unhappy with the time Nadal took at the start of the second set and the time Nadal took to prepare to receive the serve.
After Bernardes refused to give Nadal a time violation, the 22-year-old shouted, “You’re all corrupt”, and he and Nadal then exchanged words on the net about it.
Shapovalov went further in the press conference room, alleging the 20-time Grand Slam champion has an unfair advantage from the officials.
“I think I misspoke when I said he was corrupt or whatever I said,” Shapovalov explained. “It’s certainly emotional, but I’m sticking by my side. I think it’s unfair how Rafa is getting away with it.
“I’m completely ready to play and the clock is ticking, clicking towards zero, and I’m looking at the referee and obviously I’m going to speak and say something.
“I’ve been ready to play for a minute and a half and he’s telling me he’s not going to give him a code violation because I’m not ready to play. To me that’s a big joke.
“And then after the fourth set, last year, I was not allowed to take a toilet break when I asked for a medical. He had already had two medicals. He was being assessed medically, and after the evaluation, the guy goes and takes a toilet break.
“It’s like, where’s the line? I respect everything Rafa has done and I think he’s an amazing player. But there have to be limits. It’s so frustrating as a player. You have feel like you’re not just playing against the player, you’re playing against the referees, you’re playing against so much more.”
When asked if he thinks Nadal gets preferential treatment, Shapovalov replied: “Of course. One hundred percent he does.”
I never felt like I had any advantages on the court, and I really believe he’s wrong in this case. If I’m not mistaken, over the past two years we’ve had a clock, we’re increasing measures to make things fairer for everyone.
Nadal on Shapovalov’s claims
Nadal later refuted Shapovalov’s accusations and said he never felt he had an advantage on the pitch, giving a forceful response when asked if he thought he had earned the right to “special treatment” during matches.
“No. Not in this case, no, no,” said the Spaniard. “I really believe that on the pitch you don’t deserve better treatment than others. And I really don’t want it and I don’t feel like I get it.
“Without a doubt, as everyone knows, I have huge respect for Carlos, and I think he’s a great referee.
“Isn’t it true that he’s always been tough on me on the court, right? No, no, I don’t think that’s the case.
“I really believe that sometimes it’s always in the mind that better players get bigger advantages and honestly on the court that’s not true. That’s my feeling.
“I never felt like I had any advantages on the court, and I really believe he’s wrong in this case. If I’m not mistaken, in the last two years we have a clock , we are increasing measures to make things fairer for all people.”
The row overshadowed a compelling contest and huge achievement for Nadal, who last year doubted whether he would be able to come back from a foot problem and is now through to his 36th Grand Slam semi-final.
The 35-year-old, who is aiming to win his first Australian Open title since 2009 – and a record 21st major – said he was “sorry” for Shapovalov and felt the young Canadian would learn from his errors.
“I think he played a great game for a long time. Of course it’s hard to accept a loss like this, especially after I felt destroyed and he probably felt it, then I managed to win the match,” said Nadal.
“I wish him all the best. He is young and we all make mistakes in our careers. I also make a lot of mistakes when I was younger, and he will probably understand later after thinking about the right way he is. was probably. not well today.”
Sky Sports News has contacted the ATP and Tennis Australia for comment.
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