He threatened to withdraw if the smoke got too bad but in the end Denis Shapovalov departed because he wasn't good enough.
The racquet-throwing 13th seed became a surprise early casualty at the Australian Open on Monday when he went down to Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6-3 6-7-6 (9-7) 6-1 7-6 (7-3).
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The Canadian had made it clear on Saturday if he deemed conditions unsuitable, he'd pull the pin at the tournament.
But on a cloudy yet high-quality air reading day at Melbourne Park he was closer to having the pin pulled on him after a code violation for racquet abuse in the third set.
Struggling to keep his temper in check during match where he hit 62 unforced errors, Shapovalov threw his racquet multiple times but was angry for getting the violation.
The young gun was roundly condemned over the incident on social media.
When I see moments like this I look at them w/ Serena Williams in mind & think how horribly she’s been treated for far less. The hate @serenawilliams has gotten in her career shows a lack of appreciation for all she’s given to tennis & the world. #AusOpen #AusOpen2020 #Shapovalov pic.twitter.com/9AApcW4tqr— Gerren Peterson (@GerrenPeterson) January 20, 2020
Shapovalov is a disgrace— #G_C_F_R (@Jastol_Official) January 20, 2020
Pretty bad performance from Shapovalov. His tantrum he threw wasn’t a good look either— clayton14 (@Kyleclayton14) January 20, 2020
@jon_wertheim saw the shapovalov tantrum and the racket throw. I want to like him and maybe my first impression was bad with the ball-to-the-ref’s-eye incident but it feels like he’s got a bit of an anger problem. His arguing was very prolonged and immature. Thoughts?— Rika Burr (@hi_george23) January 20, 2020
Shapovalov thought that because he hadn’t broken the racquet he shouldn’t have been hit with the violation.
"I didn't break it. If I break it, 100% code me,” Shapovalov yelled at the umpire.
“You're not doing your job. You're just finding reasons to code me".
‘A terrible call from the ref’
The Canadian young gun’s temper still hadn’t simmered down after the match when he doubled down on the criticism.
"That was a terrible call from the ref," he said.
"I mean, the rule, (from) what I know, if I break my racquet you can code me but you can't code me for slamming it.
"I'm not doing anything. It didn't impact anyone and the racquet was still intact.
"He gave me a warning because I did it two or three times and ... I think that's not the way it works."
On Saturday, Shapovalov said he wouldn't wait for officials to make a call on the smoke haze, saying if he decided it was unsafe to play he'd withdraw from a match.
"Obviously it's a grand slam, it's a big opportunity, but I'm 20 years old. I don't want to risk my life, risk my health being out there in these conditions when I can play for the next 10, 15 years," he said.
Fucsovics, ranked 67 in the world, will next play the winner of the match between Australian qualifier Max Purcell and up and coming Italian Jannik Sinner.
Sinner was leading two sets to love when rain stopped play.
Joining Shapovalov as a first-round loser was fellow young gun Borna Coric.
The Croatian 25th seed surrendered surprisingly meekly to big-serving American Sam Querrey 6-3 6-3 6-4.
Brit Dan Evans, meanwhile, avoided becoming another seeded casualty when he fought back from two sets down to beat American MacKenzie McDonald 3-6 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-3.