Davis Cup player smashes ball into umpire’s face

Great Britain’s Davis Cup match against Canada ended in controversy after Denis Shapovalov accidentally smashed a ball into the umpire’s eye in a fit of anger while trying to hit it into the crowd.

The 17-year-old Shapovalov was two sets down to Kyle Edmund and had just lost his serve when he pulled a ball from his pocket and hit it hard with his racquet.

The ball flew right into the face of umpire Arnaud Gabas, who recoiled in pain as Shapovalov put his hand to his mouth in shock.

Shapovalov was automatically defaulted under tennis rules, handing Edmund a 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 victory and Britain the match with a 3-2 win.

The umpire was treated for swelling and bruising under his left eye and was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

“Obviously this is unacceptable behaviour from me,” Shapovalov said later. “I just feel awful for letting my team down, for letting my country down, for acting a way that I would never want to act.

“I can promise that’s the last time I will do anything like that.”

GB captain Leon Smith said it was “a shame”.

“I feel sorry for Denis. He’s gotten a harsh lesson,” Smith said. “He’ll learn I’m sure. But firstly I hope the umpire’s okay. That can be really dangerous.”

Britain now face France in the quarter-final, while Canada have to play a World Group play-off tie to keep their spot for 2018.

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