Denis Shapovalov has labelled the chair umpire in his Australian Open quarter-final match 'corrupt' after complaining about the amount of time Rafael Nadal was taking to serve and play.
Players have a countdown to be ready for the next point, however Shapovalov's frustrations got the better of him in the searing heat at Melbourne Park after feeling as though Nadal was stretching the allotted time to an unfair extent.
After losing the first set to Nadal 6-3, an irritated Shapovalov approached the chair umpire to complain about the delays.
The terse exchange ended with Shapovalov fuming after complaining that Nadal wasn't ready to play, to which the umpire responded by suggesting the Canadian was not ready either, considering he had approached their chair.
His comment was not taken kindly by the World No. 14.
"Are you kidding me? You guys are all corrupt. You guys are all corrupt," he said, before turning back to the baseline.
A further few points were played after that, but Shapovalov's frustration didn't subside.
The tension eventually prompted a conversation between the two, with Nadal beckoning his opponent to the net for a chat.
The outburst was quickly picked up on by tennis fans on social media, with many praising Nadal for initiating the conversation at the net to settle the match down.
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) January 25, 2022
Shapovalov not happy with how much Nadal is slowing him down. "He just takes so long, I was ready to serve"
Tells Bernardes to give Nadal some warning.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 25, 2022
“You guys are all corrupt,” Denis Shapovalov says to umpire Carlos Bernardes after complaining that Nadal should’ve gotten a time violation.#AusOpen
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 25, 2022
"You guys are all corrupt" come on Shapovalov, nothing says desperation like refereeing conspiracies mid game
— Sam Mintz (@samjmintz) January 25, 2022
"You guys are all corrupt." - Shapovalov, Denis
Denis accuses Carlos Bernardes of favoritism for allowing Rafa to take some additional time on the change of ends.
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) January 25, 2022
Nadal survives massive scare to take down Shapovalov
Nadal went on to survive in a five-set epic against Shapovalov to continue one of world sport's most remarkable streaks.
The Spanish legend's 6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3 win on Tuesday ensured at least one of the Big Three has made the last four for the 70th time in the past 71 grand slam events.
The only time it did not happen since 2004 came at the 2020 US Open when Nadal and Roger Federer weren't playing and Novak Djokovic was defaulted in the fourth round for recklessly hitting a ball that struck a line judge.
Nadal's victory, though, did not come easy as he dealt with stomach issues in the Melbourne heat and was in danger of bowing out at the quarter-final stage of the Open for the third consecutive year.
But once again the nigh-on indomitable 35-year-old was able to fend off a challenge from one of the leaders of generation to extend the Big Three's unparalleled dominance of tennis.
"I was completely destroyed after that very warm day. I didn't practice for it," Nadal said.
"I started to feel not very well in my stomach so I just asked if they can do something.
"Everything was alright on my body but I took some tablets to try and improve the stomach problem I had.
"I think I was lucky I was serving great in the fifth (set)."
Without Federer and Djokovic at Melbourne Park, Nadal now has a golden opportunity to become men's tennis's all-time majors title leader.
The three greats are locked on 20 slams each.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.