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Denis Shapovalov managed to survive a point penalty in the first round of the Italian Open on Monday to defeat Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3.
He received the penalty when he hopped over the net to show the umpire a mark on his opponent’s side of the red clay court – an action that is not permitted. The umpire determined Shapovalov’s serve was out in a double fault and he later lost the game.
Denis Shapovalov celebrates a point against Andy Murray at the Madrid Open in Spain, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
After hearing heckling during the moment, Shapovalov told the crowd to “shut the f— up.”
The umpire said he wasn’t going to kick the fan out.
“I’m not going to kick him out because I didn’t see what he was doing,” the umpire said. “I saw you talking to him, and you incited it a little bit. I understand you’re frustrated.”
Shapovalov, from Canada, would later apologize to the umpire and say he loved playing in front of the Italian fans.
Lorenzo Sonego returns the ball to Denis Shapovalov during their match at the Italian Open in Rome, Monday, May 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
“Obviously I think it’s a heat-of-the-moment kind of thing. I just need to improve with handling myself about that,” he said, via Yahoo Sports. “But in terms of going forward, I’ve played in Rome a lot of times. The fans love me here and I love the fans… Even after the match, there were a lot of people standing, waiting for pictures, stuff like that.
“I do really appreciate the support and the love I get here. I’m super excited to play another match – not against an Italian.”
Shapovalov said he was just annoyed by the fan heckling.
“He was just telling me to get off the court, get out of there, waving me off the court, trying to obviously get under my skin or whatnot,” he said, adding the umpire didn’t see what was happening.
Denis Shapovalov returns the ball to Lorenzo Sonego during the Italian Open in Rome, Monday, May 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Shapovalov will play Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia. Basilashvili beat Daniel Evans 7-6 (2), 6-2.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.