Fuming Shapovalov slams 'terrible call' in Australian Open upset


Melbourne (AFP)

Feisty Canadian Denis Shapovalov was sent packing from the Australian Open at the first hurdle Monday after an epic row with the umpire for throwing his racquet in frustration.

The world number 13 was beaten 6-3, 7-6 (9/7), 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) by Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in a big upset on day one of the first Grand Slam of the year.

Considered one of the new generation who could challenge the Big Three of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the 20-year-old lost the plot after being crushed in the third set.

The umpire gave him a code violation for throwing his racquet and it didn't go down well.

"I'm not breaking any rules," he shouted at the official. "It's my racquet, I can do whatever the hell I want with it."

"What are you talking about, I didn't break it," he added.

"If I broke it, give me a code, 100 percent. I didn't break my racquet. It was a terrible call, do your job."

Shapovalov, who crashed out of the Auckland Classic last week to a qualifier, later blasted the umpire's decision as "horrible", saying he was simply letting off steam so he could relax for the next set.

"I'm going to get fined for whatever the code was and he just gets off the hook because he makes a call because he feels like it," he said.

"I think it was a terrible call. The rule as I know it is if I break my racquet you can code me, but you can't if I slam it. The racquet was still intact and he gave me a warning because I did it two or three times."

Defeat was a setback for the Canadian, who enjoyed a strong finish to a topsy-turvy 2019 season which featured his maiden ATP title in Stockholm. He also made the Paris Masters final, losing to Djokovic.

He said nerves affected his game.

"In a Grand Slam you obviously want to do well, and I was really excited for this tournament but (nerves) just got the better of me," he said.

"Not all of me was there today. It happens to every tennis player and it's just about learning to deal with."

World number 67 Fucsovics, who was bundled out in the second round at Melbourne Park last year, said he was pleased with his form on Monday.

"I was hitting the ball really well, I like it here. I played some of my best tennis today. Everything was working," he said.