The Australian Open quarter-finals served up a classic as Rafael Nadal edged out Denis Shapovalov.
However, the Canadian star was not at all happy with some of the match’s decisions as he accused the referee of ‘corruption’.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion defeated Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 at Melbourne Park.
The incident happened after the first set, during which the Canadian was unhappy with the time Nadal was taking to recover.
The 14th seed felt the Spaniard was getting special treatment and told chair umpire Carlos Bernardes: “You look at the clock so long ago and he’s still not ready to play.
“You have to code it.”
The referee, however, wasn’t interested in Shapovalov’s comments and insisted, “He’s [Nadal] not ready to play.
The comment sparked an outburst for the 22-year-old who wasn’t at all happy with Bernardes’ comment.
“Are you kidding me? You are all corrupt”.
Nadal tried to defuse the situation by going to the net to talk to his opponent, as the tension on the pitch quickly increased.
The drama finally came to an end and play resumed in which Nadal overcame his opponent despite revealing he suffered from stomach pains in the fourth set.
“I was completely destroyed. Very hard, very hot day. I didn’t train for this,” the 35-year-old said.
“I was a little lucky at the start of the fifth. At the start of the match, I was playing very well but I know how difficult it is to play against a player like Denis.
“For me, it’s incredible to be in the semi-finals.
“I started not feeling very good in my stomach,” said the sixth seed. “I think I was lucky to serve well in the fifth. It was a great test and I really believe I’m going to be ready for this semi-final.
Shapovalov’s woes were compounded when he broke his racquet after match point, to embody his frustration at a missed opportunity to claim a major scalp.
If Nadal qualifies for the final, he will have to defeat the Italian Matteo Berrettini or the Frenchman Gaël Monfils in the last four.
Seventh seed Berrettini and 17th seed Monfils will meet in the quarter-finals later on Tuesday.
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