Umpire feels lucky to avoid serious injury after Shapovalov incident

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

Chair umpire Arnaud Gabas, who was hit by a ball smashed by Denis Shapovalov during Davis Cup play this past weekend, says he is lucky that he didn’t suffer a serious injury.

The incident led to Shapovalov being defaulted and a trip to the hospital for Gabas, but no significant damage to the eye was found.

"I came off the court looking like Rocky Balboa," he told British reporters. "I feel quite lucky it wasn't worse."

The umpire said he was still on painkillers and would be further examined. He described Shapovalov as appearing "shocked" when the Canadian player came to him to apologize again for the angry demonstration. The International Tennis Federation ruled that Shapovalov "did not intend" to hit the umpire. 

"The video is quite shocking to look at," Gabas said. "We have to avoid some balls during the season, but this one I had no chance.

"Players can be a bit crazy these days. I could see he was angry and that something was coming, but I never thought he would hit me."

Shapovalov was down two sets to love when it occurred.

Great Britain won 3-2 in the World Group tie.

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

More Stories Podcast: An interview with living legend Rod Laver

Nina Pantic caught up with the all-time great during the Laver Cup in Chicago. 

Andy Murray says he will adjust his schedule more carefully in 2019

The world No. 311 may reduce the weeks he plays, particularly if he's winning a lot.

Elina Svitolina and new coach Saviano get off to shaky start in Wuhan

The world No. 6 is still positive about the change she recently made to her team.