Henry Wancke | 9th Mar 2020 | 0
Melbourne | Shapovalov first seed to fall at AO
Denis Shapovalov becomes the first marquee player to be ousted from this year’s opening grand slam of the season at Melbourne, when he crashed out to Marton Fucosovics at the Australian Open 6-3 6-7(7) 6-1 7-6(3),
The rule that I know is that if I break the racket you can code me, but you can’t code me for slamming it Denis Shapovalov
For the 20-year-old Canadian, the first round loss is his first in three appearances the 13th seed has made at the AO as he struggled to find his range throughout the match.
“I definitely had a lot of chances. Up a break in the fourth set and getting tight. Then, having a break point and shanking a forehand,” a dejected Shapovalov commented during his post match press conference.
“I’m not trying to take anything away from him. I think he played an excellent match, played really well in the fifth set tie break. But obviously not all of me was there today.”
Shapovalov, who has a bright future ahead of him, has plenty to think about having made 62 unforced errors and failing to convert six out of seven break points he held.
He also got himself involved in an unnecessary confrontation with umpire Renaud Lichtenstein when he laid vent to his frustrations by hammering his racket on the court to reeve a code violation telling him ‘it’s my racket, I can do whatever I want with it’ and pointing out that it hadn’t been broken.
“The rule that I know is that if I break the racket you can code me, but you can’t code me for slamming it,” he later explained to reporters.
“I’m not doing anything, it didn’t impact anyone and yeah, the racket was still intact.
“He gave me the warning because I did it two or three times and I think it’s not the way it works. He said I kept doing it so he was going to code me, which is a terrible decision.”
However the rule book doesn’t support Shapovalov’s argument. It states: “Players shall not violently or with anger hit, kick or throw a racket or other equipment within the precincts of the tournament site.” No specific mention that it has to be broken before being invoked!
Shapovalov held a 4-2 lead in the fourth set but was unable to hang on to it as the Hungarian recovered to claim his second career victory over a top 20 player.