Tennis umpire hit by ball says he looked "like Rocky Balboa" afterwards

Arnaud Gabassays he's lucky to have escaped serious injury

BY Cian Roche 16:43 Tuesday 7 February 2017, 16:43 7 Feb 2017

Image: Youtube

The umpire hit in the eye by a ball from Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov says he's lucky to have escaped serious injury.

Arnaud Gabas says he came off court "looking like Rocky Balboa" after he was struck at force by a tennis ball during yesterday's Davis Cup clash between Shapovalov and Kyle Edmund.

Shapovalov hit a ball in anger in during a tie with Great Britain - and accidentally struck the French official - meaning Canada were immediately defaulted and lost the match.

The junior Wimbledon champion immediately apologised - and he's also been fined $7,000 for his trouble.

"I went back and spoke to the referee and apologized directly to him," the Canadian said yesterday.

"Luckily he’s OK, but obviously it’s just unacceptable behavior from me. To be honest, I just feel incredibly ashamed and embarrassed, and I just feel awful for letting my team down and my country down for acting a way that I would never want to act.

"I can promise that that’s the last time I will do anything like that."

The incident took place as Shapovalov was trailing Edmund 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 during the third set of the deciding rubber.

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