Canadian tennis player Denis Shapovalov has apologised for “letting down” his country after he was disqualified for hitting the umpire with a ball in his Davis Cup match with Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
The 17-year-old was already two sets down before he then dropped serve, prompting him to hit the ball in frustration out of the court.
— Matthew (@MRisingStar18) 5 February 2017
Umpire Arnaud Gabas was subsequently struck in the eye, prompting the Frenchman to then hand the win to Great Britain.
“I just feel awful for letting my team down, my country down,” said the Wimbledon junior champion.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) put in a statement that it was “clear that Mr Sapovlaov did not intend to hit Mr Gabas”, whilst GB’s captain Leon Smith said: “Unfortunately for the young lad this is going to get an awful lot of attention”.
Social Media Reacts
As you’d expect, there was plenty of reaction on social media following the incident. Some people were understanding of the situation, whereas others weren’t so forgiving.
Accidents happen to everyone, all we have to do is learn from them.@denis_shapo don’t let this put you down, you’re a great person
— Félix AugerAliassime (@felixtennis) 5 February 2017