Canadian Davis Cup player disqualified after smashing ball at umpire

Canada loses decisive match to Britain in the first round of the Davis Cup when a player launched a spare ball that hit the chair umpire in the eye

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 9:29am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 February, 2017, 9:29am

In a startling turn, Canada lost the decisive match to Britain in the first round of the Davis Cup on Sunday when a player, disappointed by his own shot, launched a spare ball that hit the chair umpire in the left eye.

Britain advanced to the World Group quarter-finals on Kyle Edmund’s 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 victory over Denis Shapovalov in the fifth match.

Play came to a sudden end in the third set after the 17-year-old Shapovalov was defaulted. He had just been broken by Edmund when he took a ball out of his pocket and hit it in frustration.

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The ball struck umpire Arnaud Gabas of France in the face, and the contact resulted in a default. Gabas put ice on his eye as swelling began – Shapovalov appeared to be devastated with the turn of events, holding his head in a towel.

Britain will play France in the quarters and are automatically assured a spot in the World Group next year. Canada must win a World Group play-off tie to keep their spot for 2018.

Vasek Pospisil defeated Britain’s Dan Evans 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) earlier on Sunday, tying the match up at 2-2.