Canada’s Denis Shapovalov rebounded for a win on Monday after getting into a loud argument with the chair umpire and then screaming words of frustration at the crowd in Rome.
The No. 13 seed beat Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3 in a wildly entertaining first-round match at the Italian Open.
Shapovalov was docked a point for unsportsmanlike conduct by umpire Richard Haigh after stepping over the net to argue a line call in the second set, leading to a break for Sonego.
Shapovalov, who called the rule “stupid”, then raised his concern with a supervisor. With the crowd jeering as he was arguing, Shapovalov was caught by cameras screaming at the fans to “shut the f— up.”
Shapovalov apologized to the umpire while shaking hands with Haigh at the end of the match.
In his post-match press conference, Shapovalov said he needs to “be better with my behaviour.”
“Never obviously done it before (stepped over the net), otherwise I would have known the rules. Yeah, like I said, it was the heat of the moment so I got emotional. I apologized after. Obviously it was my mistake. There’s nothing they can do.
“I’ll know the rule for next time. I definitely won’t step over the net.”
The Canadian responded well, dominating the third set against the world No. 28 at the ATP 1000 clay-court event.
“I haven’t learned yet exactly. I mean, 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.
Sonego also had his issues with the umpire.
He said he was penalized by a decision in the first set when Haigh came down to check a mark and made an overrule, awarding the point to Shapovalov when the Italian thought the point should have been replayed.
There was also a questionable overrule in the third set.
“Things like that shouldn’t happen,” Sonego said. “They should use video replay. That could be a big help for the umpire.”
Video review was used for calling lines at last week’s Madrid Open. But there is no such system in place in Rome.
Shapovalov has had success in Rome, falling just short against Rafael Nadal in a three-set round-of-16 match last year in which he had two match points. The previous year, Shapovalov reached the semifinals.
The Canadian will face Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second round.
— With files from The Associated Press