Canadian star player Denis Shapovalov called veteran chair umpire Carlos Bernandes ‘corrupt’ during the quarterfinal match against Rafael Nadal.
The Spaniard advanced to the semis with a 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 win in four hours and eight minutes.
The 22-year-old had been displeased with Nadal taking too much time between points, and Bernandes not calling the Spaniard out for the same.
Frustrated after losing the first set, Shapovalov told Bernandes, “You’ve started the clock so long ago and he’s still not ready to play.
“You’ve got to code him.”
There was some discussion between the Australian Open 14th seed and Bernandes. Unhappy with the result, Shapovalov accused the chair umpire of siding with Nadal.
“You guys are all corrupt, you guys are all corrupt,” he said.
After the first changeover in the second set, when Nadal was about to serve, Shapovalov raised his hands and again complained that Nadal was too slow.
This time Bernandes replied that Nadal still had time on the 25-second clock.
“You look at me, and there’s eight seconds to play. What do you want?,” Bernandes said.
Nadal instead walked up to the net and tried to sort out the problem with the Shapovalov.
You don't see that every day!! 🤯🤯
After clashing with the umpire for a second time, Shapovalov has been met in the middle of the court by his opponent Rafael Nadal to sort out business. 🎾👏#AusOpen – Live on Channel 9 and 9Now pic.twitter.com/2nl8dz0yzG
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) January 25, 2022
Bernandes vs Kyrgios
Coincidentally, Bernandes was at the forefront of another shot clock episode earlier in the tournament.
He was officiating the high-octane match between second seed Daniil Medvedev and mercurial home-country favourite Nick Kyrgios.
Toward the end of the first set, Kyrgios, who had been struggling to keep time, criticised the official for being a stickler.
“Don’t forget this match is about me and him (Medvedev),” Kyrgios was heard telling Bernandes.
“Don’t ruin it by putting the clock too fast. Let the people enjoy without that stupid s*** happening, okay?
“I played the point, I went to the towel, I came back. There can’t be five seconds on the clock.
“It can’t happen. Otherwise you ruin the match. they’re here to watch us, not you, alright. Be reasonable.”
Bernandes vs Nadal
Curiously, Bernandes has also had a run-in with Nadal in the past.
At the 2015 Rio Open, the chair umpire refused to allow Nadal time off court to change his sweat-drenched shorts.
The Spaniard was instead forced to wrap a towel around his waist and change his shorts, which, in frustration, he first put on backwards.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion had subsequently asked the ATP not to assign Bernandes to any of his matches.
“For me personally was (disrespectful). Not because of the time violation. I can understand the time violations,” Nadal had said during Wimbledon 2018 about the incident.
“I can’t understand when I was wrong, I make a mistake. I put my shorts the other way. You cannot force me to change my shorts in front of everybody, you know. For me, that’s not respectful. That was, one second, because I feel the pressure.”
Nadal went on to lose that match to Fabio Fognini, ending his 52-match winning streak on clay.
Bernandes’ struggles at the Australian Open
Last year, the umpire had to miss the event after suffering from a heart attack.
He had been serving hard quarantine when he arrived in Melbourne for the 2021 edition, but suffered from the heart attack while in his hotel room, and was promptly rushed to hospital where he recovered.