Denis Shapovalov mounted a fierce comeback from two sets down, but it wasn’t enough to upset Rafael Nadal in their Australian Open quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday.
Nadal recovered to win the fifth set and score a 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 win over Shapovalov in an epic four-hour match.
Shapovalov complains of special treatment for Nadal
Shapovalov complained throughout the match – and afterwards – about what he saw as special treatment for Nadal. The Spaniard took several long breaks at various points. In particular, Shapovalov criticized a seven-minute break that came between the end of the fourth set and the beginning of the fifth.
“I respect everything that Rafa has done, and I think he’s an unbelievable player. But, you know, there’s got to be some boundaries, some rules set,” Shapovalov said after the loss. “Every other match that I have played, the pace has been so quick because the refs have been on the clock after every single point. This one, I mean, after the first two sets it was like an hour and half just because he’s dragged out so much after every single point. He’s given so much time in between sets and all this.”
🗣️ "You guys are all corrupt!"
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) January 25, 2022
Nadal disputed Shapovalov’s accusations of special treatment.
“I honestly feel sorry for him,” Nadal said of Shapovalov. “Of course it is tough to accept to lose a match like this, especially after I was feeling destroyed and probably he felt that, and then I was able to manage to win…probably he will understand later on after he things the proper way that probably he was not right today.”
Nadal will return to the court to face Matteo Berrettini on Thursday. FanDuel Sportsbook rates Nadal as a -210 pick in the Australian Open semifinal, with Berrettini pulling +150 as a slight underdog.
Barty closing in on Australian Open title
In the women’s draw, top seed Ashleigh Barty moved one step closer to her first Australian Open title with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over American Jessica Pegula. Barty dominated the match, winning nine games in a row at one point to finish off Pegula in just 63 minutes.
“That was solid tonight,” Barty said after the match. “I had a lot of fun out here. I was able to serve and find a lot of forehands in the center of the court, and I was happy to take the game on and be aggressive.”
|Australian Open Quarterfinals Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|No. 27 Danielle Collins: -290||Alize Cornet: +230|
|No. 7 Iga Swiatek: -420||Kaia Kanepi: +330|
|No. 11 Jannik Sinner: -128||No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas: +110|
|No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime: +550||No. 2 Daniil Medvedev: -750|
With most of the top seeds out, Barty now stands as a strong -175 favorite to win the Australian Open. Iga Swiatek (+440) stands as her biggest threat, and the two could meet in the finals. The seventh-seeded Swiatek will face Kaia Kanepi as a -420 favorite in their quarterfinal on Wednesday.
Men’s favorite Daniil Medvedev will also be in action on Rod Laver Arena Wednesday. Medvedev will take the court as a -750 favorite over Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime (+550) in the night session.