Tennis Prose



How Shapovalov Should Have Handled Nadal’s Stalling

By Scoop Malinowski

Denis Shapovalov got screwed by Nadal and the chair umpire last night in their heated five set Australian Open quarterfinal.

Nadal’s stalling tactics plagued the match from the first set to the end. It started in the first set at 2-3 when Shapo was ready to serve and Nadal made him wait by standing in the shade. Shapo approached the chair umpire Carlos Bernardes and asked him to give Nadal a “code” violation for stalling him. Bernades did not. Shapo then blasted Bernardes, “You guys are all corrupt.”

Nadal continued to stall Shapovalov the whole match using medical evaulations, bathroom breaks but then at the end of the fifth set and the victory was sealed after a Shapo missed volley, it was clear Nadal’s injuries were all faked and staged to stall Shapo. It was Nadal who took a long bathroom break after losing the fourth set, similar to the trek to the bathroom he took in the AO final of 2014 vs Stan Wawrinka after losing the first set. Nadal attempted to ice Stan and break his momentum and rhythm. But the scheme by Rafa backfired.

Nobody remembers what happened back then but I will refresh your memory. I remember it well because it was shocking and poetic justice. Nadal returned to the court after the long stall and the Rod Laver arena greeted Nadal with a full stadium rousing cascade of boos. Yes, Nadal was blatantly booed as a villain during a Grand Slam final. It was devastating to poor Rafa who clearly was shattered by the epic humiliation of being booed by a full stadium and millions of viewers around the world.

The final was ruined because Nadal, his feelings hurt, could not play after that and Wawrinka won in four sets. The energy of the match was changed by the booing of Nadal and his devastated reaction after.

Shapovalov should have confronted Nadal and Bernardes when Nadal returned to the court for the fifth set. Instead of suppressing his rage at Nadal he should have vented it and exposed Rafa’s stalling/cheating. He should have put Rafa on the spot and express his frustrated feelings and resentment of Rafa’s cheating and this would have incited the crowd to get involved. The crowd surely would have taken his side and Nadal would have been put in the awkward villain role he can’t handle. But instead Shapovalov kept his bitterness and anger at Nadal locked inside and it poisoned his fifth set performance. At the end after his missed volley, an irate Shapovalov smashed has Yonex racquet, clearly he was seething at Nadal’s cheating and stalling and bending of the rules.

After having the AO semifinal stolen from him by what he alleged as AO and Nadal corruption, Denis Shapovalov said this about Nadal’s perpetual stalling tactics.

“I think it’s unfair how much Rafa is getting away with.”

“There’s got to be some boundaries, some rules set.”

“100% he gets preferential treatment. 100%.”

“It’s just not balanced.”

But Shapovalov could have taken more bold action after the fourth set stall and confronted Nadal and his alleged co-conspirator Bernardes. Next time, Denis, next time.

Surely, there will be a next time for Shapovalov, but this time he got done dirty by Rafael Nadal and Carlos Bernardes.

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  • Scoop Malinowski · January 25, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    Here is the 2014 AO final. Nadal faked the injury down a set and 1-2, left court for over seven minutes, returned to boos from crowd, which shocked Nadal and hurt his feelings. The crowd knew he faked it. Then after his error on first point, crowd cheered loudly for Stan. Rafa was now the villain and he crumbled at being exposed. He then played with a slow serve as if trying to prove/fake to the crowd he really was hurt. But he wasn’t hurt. He was serving bombs and grunting full force before he left the court. Rafa could not play his game and try to convince the crowd he really was hurt. Stan kept his head and finished it. But Rafa’s faking stalling ruined the final. Because the fake didn’t work. The boos start at 1:32…

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 26, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    #Medvedev on boos from the crowd after he mentioned #Djokovic: As a person, I’m trying to be honest of course. Sometimes I cannot talk about everything, because we live in the time where you cannot say anything, everything you think.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 26, 2022 at 7:56 pm



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