Denis Shapovalov was involved in an angry argument with a chair umpire at the Australian Open on Monday night, incensed when the official wouldn’t let him leave the court for a toilet break.
The World No.12 came from a set down to beat rising star Jannik Sinner 3-6 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-4 in a five-set thriller that finished in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
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Sinner, a quarter-finalist at last year’s French Open, converted just three of his 20 break point opportunities, allowing Shapovalov to advance to a second-round showdown with Bernard Tomic.
It certainly wasn’t all plain sailing for Shapovalov, and the young Canadian blew up at the chair umpire in a bizarre moment after the fourth set.
After calling for a medical timeout, Shapovalov then asked the umpire if he could leave the court to go to the toilet.
However he was left fuming when the official refused his request.
“What do you mean I can’t go? Are you going to disqualify me? I have to pee!” he spat back at the umpire.
“I’m going to p*** my pants! I’m going to p*** in a bottle!
“You guys are not allowing players to p***? I don’t understand this rule!
“What happens if I go? Do I get a fine? I don’t care!”
Players are normally allowed to leave the court for a bathroom break, but not immediately after a set has finished.
Players have been known to use toilet breaks as a way to get an extended breather or break their opponent’s momentum.
“I was just blowing off steam, just kind of cooling my head, getting rid of it,” Shapovalov said in his post-match press conference.
“But also, I do think it’s a dumb rule. Especially for me, I’ve got the smallest bladder ever, so I literally got to take a p*** every set.
“So it’s difficult, especially when you’re on that court for so long.
“Before the match I’m trying to hydrate as much as possible, so yeah, I gotta pee, man.”
Shapovalov sets up clash with Bernard Tomic
The 21-year-old will now face Tomic in the second round, after the controversial Aussie got a gift when opponent Yuichi Sugita retired hurt.
Urged on by his courtside “coach” - reality TV love interest Vanessa Sierra - and father John, Tomic fought back after a nervous start in the first-round affair and appeared headed for victory when Sugita took a medical time-out during the third set.
Sugita, nursing an abdominal complaint, carried on for two more games but couldn't complete the match, which Tomic led 3-6 6-1 4-1 when it was called off.
“I played very, very badly in the first set,” Tomic said.
“I was kind of a little bit nervous. It was windy, it was cold. It was pretty bad.
“But the second and third was some of the best tennis I've played in a while.”
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