Canada’s teenage star Denis Shapovalov wrote his name into the competition’s 117-year history by handing a 3-2 victory to GB with a flash of temper that could have ended in serious injury.
Kyle Edmund was already well in control of the deciding rubber when his opponent, the reigning Wimbledon junior champion, hit French umpire Arnaud Gabas flush in the left eye when he angrily smashed the ball away from mid court.
Having just been broken to trail 6-3 6-4 2-1, Shapovalov 17 and tipped as a potential Grand Slam winner could not contain himself and was issued with an immediate default to confirm Britain’s place in the quarter finals. They will now face France away in early April with the hope that Andy Murray, who absented himself after his Australian Open disappointment, will be back.
A crestfallen Shapovalov afterwards immediately sought out Gabas to apologise, before the umpire was taken to hospital for a check-up. He was said by an International Tennis Federation spokesperson to have swelling and bruising around his left eye.
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