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I'm so relieved umpire avoided serious injury, says Shapovalov

By Robert Jones

Denis Shapovalov has admitted he would never have been able to forgive himself if Davis Cup umpire Arnaud Gabas had been seriously injured by his ball-blasting antics on Sunday.

Canada's Shapovalov was defaulted against Great Britain's Kyle Edmund after angrily striking a ball, which inadvertently caught Gabas in the eye.

The 17-year-old's moment of madness cost him the match, which Edmund was already leading 6-3 6-4 2-1, and Canada the tie as Britain won 3-2 to reach the quarter-finals.

Shapovalov has since been fined $7,000 (£5,623) by the International Tennis Federation, but while Gabas was left with a visible bruise, hospital checks showed no lasting damage.

"I'm very lucky he is okay, because if things had gone worse I don't think I would have been able to forgive myself and I don't think I would be able to move past it," Shapovalov said.

"After everything had happened I was in the locker room and I was asking if I could go see him, see if he was okay.

"I got a chance to talk to him and he was so good about it. It was such a stupid move for me to do something like that."

Shapovalov believes he "blacked out" for 10 minutes after the incident. He added: "I want to apologise to the British fans, Kyle and the British team.

"The odds are that Kyle being a great player and me being down two sets, I would have lost. I feel bad I didn't allow the British team to have the celebration they deserved."

Belfast Telegraph

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