Arnaud Gabas, the French tennis umpire who was hit in the eye by a ball fired by Canada's Denis Shapovalov during a Davis Cup tie against Great Britain, has undergone surgery on a fractured eye socket. As per AFP sources, the 35-year-old's retina and cornea were undamaged but a report in L'Equipe sports daily confirmed that the Frenchman required surgery. Shapovalov, 17, handed Britain the Davis Cup tie when he was disqualified against Kyle Edmund last Sunday for bashing the ball in frustration and inadvertently catching Gabas in the eye.
"I came off the court looking like Rocky Balboa," Gabas was quoted as saying by Sky Sports after the incident.
"The video is quite shocking to look at. We have to avoid some balls during the season but this one I had no chance.
"I feel quite lucky it wasn't worse. Players can be a bit crazy these days.
"I could see he was angry and that something was coming but I never thought he would hit me."
Gabas, initially taken to hospital in Ottawa as a precaution, was left with bruising and swelling. Tennis authorities imposed a 7,000 dollar (6,250 euro) fine on Shapovalov.
Gabas later said Israel-born Shapovalov, the junior Wimbledon champion, apologised for his actions.
"He was remorseful and shocked when he came to apologise," he said.
"At the moment I'm OK, I'm on painkillers but I have an appointment to see a specialist when I get home," Gabas added.
(With inputs from AFP)