Thursday, March 23, 2023

Shapovalov wins in Italy despite penalty

ROME ( Associated Press) — Denis Shapovalov dodged a point penalty and playing against a hostile crowd as he beat local hopeful Lorenzo Sonego 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-3 in the first round of the Italian Open Monday.

At the end of the second set, Shapovalov was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after jumping over the net to show the chair umpire a mark in the red clay on his opponent’s side, which is not allowed.

The judge had ruled that a Shapovalov serve went wide, resulting in a double fault and a break point for Sonego. Taking the penalty for breaking the code, Shapovalov lost the game and trailed 5-4.

“A lot of things happened in the heat of the moment. I need to have a better conduct,” Shapovalov said. “It was my mistake. I’ll keep the rule in mind for next time. I’ll never get over the net again.”

Shapovalov continued to argue after the network incident.

The Canadian and 13th seed called the chair umpire to point out a fan who was harassing him.

“I’m not taking him out because I couldn’t see what he did,” the judge said. “I saw you talking to him and goaded him on a bit. I understand your frustration.”

After the match, Shapovalov apologized to the judge.

Shapovalov reached the semi-finals in Rome two years ago, while Sonego reached it last year.

Also Monday, Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka won his first match in nearly a year and a half by coming from behind to beat Reilly Opelka, another semifinalist last year, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.

The three-time Grand Slam champion recently reappeared on tour after undergoing two foot surgeries.

Other winners of the day were Karan Khachanov, Jenson Brooksby and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

In the women’s draw, Simona Halep — the 2020 champion — defeated Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-4 and Victoria Azarenka beat Viktorija Golubic 6-3, 6-0.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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