Sport is beset by unintended consequences - Beckham and the boot and now Shapovalov and the shot

Umpire Arnaud Gabas, of France, holds his face after being hit by a ball during first-round Davis Cu

Umpire Arnaud Gabas, of France, holds his face after being hit by a ball during first-round Davis Cup tennis match action between Canada's Denis Shapovalov and Britain's Kyle Edmund. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP) - Credit: AP

Canadian Davis cup player Denis Shapovalov this week said he was 'incredibly ashamed and embarrassed' after his default for hitting the umpire in the eye with a ball.

It's not true that lightning never strikes twice... this picture of lightning over Norfolk is by Jer

It's not true that lightning never strikes twice... this picture of lightning over Norfolk is by Jeremy Podolski - Credit: Archant

The 17-year-old was trailing Britain's Kyle Edmund by two sets and had just been broken in the third set when he smashed a ball in anger that struck the match official.

It was clearly not intentional from the Wimbledon junior champion but, with Gabas in obvious pain, tie referee Brian Earley had no choice but to halt the match and leave Britain the victors.

An emotional Shapovalov, who was playing in only his second Davis Cup tie, said: 'I went back and spoke to the umpire afterwards and apologised directly to him.

'Luckily he was okay but obviously it's unacceptable behaviour from me. I feel incredibly ashamed and embarrassed and I just feel awful for letting my team down, for letting my country down, for acting in a way that I would never want to act.

Canada's Denis Shapovalov covers his head with a towel as he leaves after his Davis Cup a match was

Canada's Denis Shapovalov covers his head with a towel as he leaves after his Davis Cup a match was declared forfeited by umpire Arnaud Gabas, of France. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP) - Credit: AP


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'I can promise that's the last time I will do anything like that. I'm going to learn from this and try to move past it.'

It was a proper apology from the teenager who, while he will never be allowed to forget the incident (see the World Wide Web, all TV channels, newspapers etc) looks to be on a steep learning curve to a fabulous career in tennis.

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Tennis is known for its divos, I use the masculine of diva because the names that spring to mind here are the young McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Nastase etc

Last week, we were reminded of another famous occasion involving former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and David Beckham. Famously a boot hit Beckham above the eye after his angry manager kicked a boot. Beckham explained that Ferguson had kicked at a pile of Man U kit – shirts and shorts etc – and there had been a boot underneath which flew the footballer.

Madonna fell on stage while performing at the 2015 Brit Awards. The singer, who carried on with the

Madonna fell on stage while performing at the 2015 Brit Awards. The singer, who carried on with the number, revealed at the time that she could not bring herself to watch footage of the moment. (Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire) - Credit: PA

Beckham joked he knew it was unintentional because he'd seen Ferguson kick a ball in training!

With apologies to BBC boffin quiz Only Connect, last week, I should also mention footballer Svein Grøndalen's moose injury (it appeared on one of the questions). Norway defender went for a jog in the woods and collided with a moose, whereupon he rolled down a hill and got a cut on the leg which forced him to withdraw from an international fixture against Finland. The same quiz question included the nasty accident sustained by Man U goalkeeper Alex Stepney in 1975 when he dislocated his jaw while shouting at his defenders during a match against Birmingham.

It was widely reported that, while he was playing for Everton, former Ipswich and England goalkeeper Richard Wright was ruled out of the Toffees' FA Cup fourth-round replay at Chelsea after suffering a freak injury during the warm-up. He fell over a sign that warned him not to practise in the goalmouth, suffering a twisted ankle.

Sometimes it's just not funny. Michael Stensgaard The Danish goalkeeper was forced to retire after suffering a shoulder injury when he attempted to fold an ironing board... we are often told most accidents happen in the home.

Steve Tyler of Aerosmith injured at a gig in the line of duty (Joel Ryan/PA Wire)

Steve Tyler of Aerosmith injured at a gig in the line of duty (Joel Ryan/PA Wire) - Credit: PA

However safety conscious we are, there is always the chance of a freak accident that will defy all the safety guidance. But then, that's life. If we were to avoid all harm we would wear high-vis vests, padded clothing, safety helmet and work boots... and not venture out of the house. But some professions lend themselves to more widely viewed accidents.

We should not forget that well-worn adage: 'Lightning never strikes twice.' Spare a thought for American park ranger Roy Sullivan. He worked in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and was struck by lightning on seven different occasions and survived all of them... he died of a gunshot wound in 1983.

Unintended consequences:

• In 2009 Aerosmith's Steve Tyler danced off the stage while on a runway during a performance of Love in an Elevator. He injureed his head, neck, and shoulders in the fall.

A plaster over the injured left eyebrow of Manchester United mid-fielder David Beckham in February 2

A plaster over the injured left eyebrow of Manchester United mid-fielder David Beckham in February 2003 February 19, 2003, after a dressing room bust-up saw Sir Alex accidentally kick a football boot into Beckham's face, cutting him above the eye. - Credit: PA

• Two years ago TV viewers saw Madonna fall backwards down a flight of steps during a performance at the Brits. The singer had been performing her new single Living for Love when the cape she was wearing appeared to get caught up in one of her dancers, causing her to tumble. The pop diva brushed herself off and continued with the rest of her song.

• According to virginmedia.com actress Hilary Swank was filming the romance P.S. I Love when co-star Gerard Butler accidentally twanged a suspender at her which gave her a gash above her eye. 'I had a perfect suspender-clip mark on my forehead, with the little teeth in it,' Swank said.

• Actor Ben Stiller was bitten on the chin by Jennifer Aniston's ferret while shooting Along Came Polly.

• Perhaps the most ironic injury was Brad Pitt's torn Achilles tendon... which he accidentally inmjured while playing the part of the legendary Greek hero, Achilles. The actor is reported to have commented: 'It's sad, it's stupid, but it's true. It's so wrong. It's such a bad headline.'

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