Rafael Nadal Australian Open 2022

‘Shapovalov is wrong’ – Nadal refutes ‘preferential treatment’ claim

Denis Shapovalov and Rafael Nadal have entered a duel of words following their epic Australian Open quarter-final match as the young Canadian accused umpires of giving the Spaniard “preferential treatment.”

After he thought Nadal was given too much leniency on time between points, Shapovalov confronted the chair umpire, even going as far as exclaiming “you guys are all corrupt!” when his opponent was not handed a code violation.

The 22-year-old did then backtrack on those particular words in his press conference after a five-set defeat to Nadal, but stood by the sentiment of his accusation.

“I think I misspoke when I said he’s corrupt,” explained Shapovalov.

“It’s definitely emotional but I do stand by my side. I think it’s unfair how much Rafa [Nadal] is getting away with.

“To me, it’s a big joke.

“It’s like, where is the line?

“I respect everything that Rafa has done and I think he’s an unbelievable player.

“But there’s got to be some boundaries. 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.

When asked if Nadal gets preferential treatment, Shapovalov responded bluntly: “100% he does.”



During Nadal’s own press conference, the 20-time Slam champion was made aware of Shapovalov’s comments on bias from officials, something the GOAT contender shut down immediately.

“I really believe that it’s always in the mind that top players get bigger advantages and, honestly, on court it’s not true,” Nadal said during his post-match press conference.

“That’s my feeling. I never feel that I had advantages on court, and I really believe that he’s wrong in that case.

“In the last couple of years we have a clock, we increase the measures to make the things more fair for everyone.”



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