Even though being in a professional setting should be the point when most of us are at our most impeccable, sometimes the pressure of a given moment becomes too much to tamp down with rationality. Someone who is oh so familiar with such a situation is young Canadian tennis pro Denis Shapovalov, whose impulsive frustration on the court cost him any shot at moving forward in the Davis Cup. As you'll see in the video below, one heated moment led to Shapovalov hitting a ball out in anger, straight into the face of an umpire. So much of the pain.
I must have watched that exclamation of a moment at least eight times, though only for five or so was I actually looking at the right thing and grasping what happened that led to Denis Shapovalov's disqualification. At first, I thought he'd flung his racket outward, but no, he actually crushed a line drive right into umpire Arnaud Gabas' left eye, which shows off both the 17-year-old's more immature nature, as well as his stunning (accidental) accuracy. The moment is akin to seeing someone get hit with a locomotive of a dodge ball, and t's kind of amazing that Gabas didn't go flying backwards out of his chair, flipping over into the crowd; I assume that's what will happen if the end of this particular match is ever used for someone's biopic.
Thankfully, it appears that no significant damage was done to Arnaud Gabas' face, though he will be seeing an eye doctor on Tuesday just to make sure, according to the BBC. But the news wasn't so good for Denis Shapovalov, who apologized to Gabas after the ordeal and later said he felt "incredibly ashamed" for what he'd done, promising to never fall back on that kind of behavior again. Shapovalov was hit with $7,000 in fines for what he did, with $2,000 coming for the default and $5,000 for the unsportsmanlike conduct. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) ruled not to go with the maximum $12,000 fine due to the injurious move not being intentional. His youth perhaps played a part in the lower total, as other athletes like Serena Williams and Heather Watson were fined thousands more at last year's Wimbledon for breaking their racquets.
There isn't much of a silver lining here for anyone other than Shapovalov's opponent, Great Britain's Kyle Edmund, who moved on. But at least everyone is able to walk away from the situation intact, albeit with lighter pockets and some facial bruising. Tennis rarely gets so hardcore.
While extremely dangerous moments like these definitely aren't comedy, the unlikelihood of it all wouldn't be out of place in one. Specifically HBO's 7 Days in Hell, with Andy Samberg and Kit Harington competing in the longest and most R-rated tennis match in the history of the world. And when you're not keeping up with the rest of the Davis Cup, head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what else the small screen has to offer in the near future.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.