During the second set of his 7-6 3-6 6-3 victory against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego in Rome, Shapovalov was handed a point penalty after he crossed the net to show the umpire a ball marking on the court.
The incident prompted boos to ring around the stadium, and Shapovalov briefly broke off his remonstrations with the umpire to shout “shut the f ** k up” towards a fan.
“He was just telling me to get off the court, get out of there, waving me off the court. Trying to obviously get under my skin or whatnot,” Shapovalov told a press conference according to Reuters.
“I think the umpire just needs to keep an eye on it if a player mentions something.
“The reason why (the heckler) did not get kicked out was because (the umpire) told me he did not see what happened. That’s very understandable. I feel like he kept an eye on him after that. It did not bother me after that. “
Shapovalov, who will face Nikoloz Basilashvili in the next round of the Italian Open, later apologized to the umpire for losing his cool.
He added that tennis could be a stricter towards hecklers and take a similar approach to the NBA.
“They’re pretty strict, the security and everything, that (fans) don’t cross the line. If they do, they’re kicked out right away,” Shapovalov said.