Shapovalov calls for Hawk-Eye after heartbreaking defeat

Denis Shapovalov disputed a line call in the closing stages of his 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 8-6 defeat to Roberto Carballes Baena

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Denis Shapovalov

Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov joined in the chorus for an electronic line-calling system at the French Open after a disputed line call in the closing stages of his 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 8-6 defeat to Roberto Carballes Baena on Thursday.

“When will we have Hawkeye on clay?” Shapovalov tweeted shortly after the riveting five-hour contest.

While the other three Grand Slams, including that stickler for traditions Wimbledon, have Hawk-Eye to resolve disputed line calls, the clay-court major has resisted the technology so far.

Clay-court events still rely on umpires calls and ball marks left on the red dirt, which leaves a lot of room for errors and arguments.

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Shapovalov served at 5-4 and 6-5 in the deciding set but Carballes Baena levelled the match each time and then broke the Canadian’s next service game again to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.

The controversial line-call came with the Canadian serving for the match the first time, at 30-15. Believing that a Carballes Baena shot had landed out, Shapovalov just guided the ball back into the net.

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But as no line call was made, the Canadian asked chair umpire Carlos Ramos to check the ball mark. Ramos eventually ruled in the Spaniard’s favour.

Television replays concluded that the ball had indeed landed out. What should have been 40-15 and double match point to Shapovalov was deemed 30-30. Upset by the incident, the ninth seed went on to lose the game.

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Though Shapovalov had another chance to serve out the match at 6-5, he again failed to do so. The 21-year-old hit 106 errors, against 65 winners, in the match as the Spaniard scored one of his biggest wins.

The 101-ranked Carballes Baena, who has played 81 of his 110 tour-level matches on clay, reached the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.

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“It is a dream for me to win a match like this in this court and I think I tried to be very solid and focused on my game,” the 27-year-old said in his on-court interview.

“Shapovalov serves very well, he’s very aggressive but I think I played a very good match.”

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