Denis Shapovalov swears at fans in angry outburst at Italian Open
In the end, when he finally emerged 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3 winner of the fiery three sets, he apologized to the referee saying, “I’m sorry, I know you just follow the rules.”
“I want to say, [I had] I had obviously never done it before, otherwise I would have known the rules,” Shapovalov said of his action. “It was the heat of the moment, so I got emotional. I have to be better with my behavior.
“I apologized afterwards. Obviously it was my mistake…I just need to get better managing myself about it. I’ve played in Roma many times. The fans love me here and I love the fans. So I think there’s a huge love. Even after the game, there were a lot of people standing around waiting for pictures.”
But his behavior fit a pattern of top male players losing their rags on the pitch. In February, Alexander Zverev drew huge criticism for violently attacking the referee’s chair with his racquet, slightly missing the feet of official Alessandro Germani. He was promptly ejected from the tournament and handed a suspended eight-week ban, but many argued the punishment was too lenient given it was not the first time he had been called up for management issues. anger on the ground.
Shapovalov was also reprimanded earlier this year for calling referees ‘corrupt’ at the Australian Open, and Nick Kyrgios was fined in March for a verbal assault on referee Carlos Bernardes at the ‘Miami Open. The repeated episodes prompted ATP president Andrea Gaudenzi to issue a warning to all players in April that unsportsmanlike conduct would not be tolerated.
Elsewhere on Monday, Naomi Osaka withdrew from Rome on the eve of her first round, citing an Achilles injury she picked up at the Madrid Open. “I have to be careful, especially before Roland Garros,” Osaka said.
This potentially opens up Emma Raducanu’s side of the draw, as if she beat Bianca Andreescu on Tuesday she might have met four-time Major champion Osaka in the second round.
Meanwhile, Dan Evans was knocked out 7-6(2) 6-2 by Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili, his third first-round outing in his last four clay-court tournaments.
There was better news for three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka, who had a breakthrough on his return from a serious foot injury, winning his first tour-level match in 456 days against American Reilly Opelka 3-6 7 -5 6-2.