Monday, February 13, 2017

Shapovalov's shot was a fault

On February 5, spectators were stunned (less so than the victim) when the 17-year-old Canadian player Denis Shapovalov smashed a ball straight into the right eye of the French chair umpire Arnaud Gabas, who had no other alternative (when he recovered his senses) than to send the hitman off the court. Shapovalov was then fined 7,000 dollars, while Gabas underwent surgery for a fracture of the orbital bone.

Shapovalov's senseless act was unintended, and he rapidly apologized to the umpire. The surgical intervention was successful, and Gabas is recovering well from the incident. But damage was surely done in the minds of spectators. When the umpire left the court looking like a wounded boxer, it just wasn't tennis. And it's likely that traces of this incident will follow the Canadian throughout his career.

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