Denis Shapovalov had to literally ‘hold on’ to beat Jannik Sinner in a thrilling Australian Open win over the Italian 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 No. 11 seed, later told reporters that he was “blowing off steam.”
“Also I do think it’s a dumb rule, especially for me,” he said.
“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.
“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.