Tennis

Canada loses Davis Cup tie after Shapovalov's outburst

Britain advanced to the Davis Cup World Group quarter-finals over Canada on Sunday. The match came to an early end in the third set as Denis Shapovalov was defaulted for launching an errant ball that hit the umpire in the left eye.

Britain advances after default handed out by umpire who was hit in the face by a ball

Canada fell 3-2 to Great Britain in their Davis Cup World Group tie after Shapovalov was defaulted after accidentally firing a tennis ball at the chair umpire 1:24

Denis Shapovalov says that he's ashamed and embarrassed for his actions that caused a Canadian defeat at the Davis Cup.

The 17-year-old saw his Davis Cup action come to an abrupt end Sunday when he hit the umpire with an errant ball.

Shapovalov was automatically defaulted under tennis rules, allowing Britain's Kyle Edmund to earn an easy 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 victory and 3-2 series win. Britain advances to the Davis Cup World Group quarter-finals as the winner of the tie.

Shapovalov was remorseful and emotional while addressing the media.

"Obviously this is unacceptable behaviour from me," Shapovalov said. "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."

The crowd of 7,497 at TD Place was stunned when Shapovalov, who had just been broken by Edmund and was disappointed with a shot, took a ball out of his pocket and hit it in frustration. The umpire had swelling and bruising under his left eye and was taken to Ottawa General Hospital for a precautionary evaluation.

Umpire Arnaud Gabas of France holds ice to his face after being hit in the eye by Denis Shapovalov's errant ball. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Team Canada captain Martin Laurendeau had never dealt with a similar situation, but clearly felt for his young player.

"He's not that kind of guy. It's just the beginning of his career so he'll draw a big lesson out of this," Laurendeau said. "Curbing your emotions on the court is probably something that he'll need to make a living out of this sport. You can't compete if you don't have emotional control and this lesson can serve him for the rest of his career and the rest of his life."

Britain will play France in the quarters, while Canada will be forced to play a World Group play-off tie to keep its spot for 2018 play.

Pospisil forced tie-breaker

Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil defeated Daniel Evans 7-6(3), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5) earlier Sunday, tying the Davis Cup World Group tie at 2-2.

Pospisil's participation had been in question as he's struggled with a knee issue over the weekend and admitted a decision wasn't made until the last possible moment. In the end, he said the treatment he received Saturday night was the difference and that Sunday's singles match was the best he felt over the course of the weekend.

Evans, ranked 45th in the world, struggled to handle Pospisil's serve and it was the difference in the match.

Pospisil, ranked 133rd, had 25 aces to Evans's seven in the match that took three hours 23 minutes to be decided.

"When he was behind he was serving so well and I don't even know how many break points I had and my conversion must have been diabolical really," said Evans. "I've got to give it to him. He played better than me today."

Evans seemed to find his second wind in the fourth set. He went up two games to none, but Pospisil had four aces to win the third. Evans came right back and won the fourth game. The set ended in a tiebreaker.

Trailing 4-2 Pospisil scored four unanswered points to take a 6-4 lead. Evans made it 6-5 with an ace, but Pospisil fired a serve that Evans was unable to return, hitting it wide to give Canada the win.

"I thought he was actually going away and then he sort of started going for broke," said Evans. "He was hitting the lines a lot, as you saw from the challenges. He played well and obviously the crowd carried him through. He fought hard.

"This will help him get back to where he has been. He's been playing terrible for the past however long, but this weekend his play was as well as I've seen him play."