Heartbreaking Scenes As Inconsolable Player Pulls Out Of U.S. Open
Denis Shapovalov is being hailed for his sportsmanship, after Felix Auger-Aliassime pulled out of the first round of the U.S. Open.
It was a frightening start to the U.S. Open on Monday, with Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime pulling out mid-match complaining of heart problems.
The 18-year-old was making his U.S. Open debut against fellow countryman Denis Shapovalov, when he became distressed in the third set, clutching at his heart as he lay on the ground.
Auger-Aliassime called for a doctor, complaining of a racing heart, breathing problems and dizziness.
Temperatures reached 32°C at Flushing Meadows during the first round and Auger-Aliassime struggled to cope with the heat.
Nineteen-year-old Shapovalov, who is a good friend of Auger-Aliassime, was visibly concerned as he tried to offer comfort, encouraging him to keep going.
“Just try your best, keep going,” Shapovalov said to him, as the increasingly inconsolable Auger-Aliassime tried to keep playing.
But after consulting with his coaching box, Auger-Aliassime made the decision to retire from the match.
Shapovalov showed brilliant sportsmanship, sitting with his opponent as Auger-Aliassime tried to compose himself on the side of the court.
After going down 7-5 in the first set, Auger-Aliassime bounced back in the second, taking it out 7-5. Auger-Aliassime was down 4-1 in the third set when he retired.
Heart problems aren't a new thing for Auger-Aliassime, he had been diagnosed with tachycardia in 2016. A tachycardia episode -- a period of sustained irregular heartbeat caused by the heart rate rising above the resting rate -- caused Auger-Aliassime to retire from a Challenger event in 2017.