Denis Shapovalov, the No. 14 seed in the Australian Open, called out the chair umpire following the first set of his eventual five-set loss to Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open quarterfinals.
After dropping the first set 6–3, Shapovalov approached the chair umpire, complaining Nadal wasn't ready to play, to which the umpire responded by suggesting the Canadian was not ready, either, considering he had walked up to their chair.
“Are you kidding me? You guys are all corrupt. You guys are all corrupt,” Shapovalov could be heard saying.
Shapovalov would go on to lose the second set but win the third and fourth set. Nadal would take the fifth set 6–3, completing a 6–3, 6–4, 4–6, 3–6, 6–3 win to advance to the Australian Open semifinals for the seventh time.
“I respect everything that Rafa has done, and I think he's an unbelievable player. But, you know, there's got to be some boundaries, some rules set,” Shapovalov said after the match. “It's just so frustrating as a player. You feel like you're not just playing against the player; you're playing against the umpires, you're playing against so much more.”
Nadal rejected any notion that he receives special treatment from umpires or referees.
“I honestly feel sorry for him. I think he played a great match for a long time,” Nadal said. “Of course it's tough to accept to lose a match like this, especially after I was feeling destroyed and probably he felt that, and then I was able to manage to win.
“I wish him all the very best ... probably he will understand later on after he thinks the proper way that probably he was not right today.”
As a result of the victory, Nadal will face No. 7–seed Matteo Berrettini in the semifinals. Berrettini advanced after defeating No. 17 Gaël Monfils, 6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 3–6, 6–2.
Nadal is currently tied with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic for a record 20 men's major singles championships. The 35-year-old Spaniard has won the Australian Open just once in his career, in 2009.
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