Denis Shapovalov had to literally ‘hold on’ to beat Jannik Sinner in a thrilling Australian Open win over the Italian talent on Tuesday, having been left fuming after he was denied a request to take a bathroom break before the deciding fifth set.
“What happens if I go?” Canadian Shapovalov asked German umpire Nico Helwerth at Margaret Court Arena. “Do I get a fine? I don’t care!
“What do you mean I can’t go? Are you going to disqualify me? I have to pee! I’m going to piss my pants! I’m going to piss in a bottle! You guys are not allowing players to piss? I don’t understand this rule!”
Players are allowed two bathroom breaks per five-set match at the tournament, with the breaks permitted only between sets. Shapovalov, the 11th seed, later told reporters he was ‘blowing off steam’.
“Also I do think it’s a dumb rule, especially for me. I’ve got the smallest bladder ever. I’ve literally got to take a piss every set, so it’s difficult when you’re on the court for so long,” he said.
“Before the match I’m trying to hydrate as much as possible. … Of course it wasn’t the umpire’s fault.
“I think we should be able to take more breaks and go to the washroom because we … could be on the court for more than three-four hours.”
Shapovalov meets Australia’s Bernard Tomic for a place in the third round.