July 13, 2024

Open Court


Fabio Fognini suspended at US Open

NEW YORK – The man they call Fogna went a couple of steps too far during his first-round singles match.

And so, the International Tennis Federation announced Saturday that the 30-year-old Italian had been “provisionally suspended from further participation in the US Open pending a Final Determination whether a Major Offense has been committed during his first round singles match.” (capitalization theirs).

The suspension took effect immediately.

Fognini, the No. 22 seed, lost that first-round match to a countryman, qualifier Stefano Travaglia, 6-0 in the fourth set.

SImone Bolelli didn’t do anything wrong, but he could well be out of pocket anyway. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

But he had reached the third round of doubles with another Italian, frequent partner Simone Bolelli.

They were awaiting an opponent for a match likely scheduled for Sunday. The potential opponents – both unseeded, and beatable opponents – will now receive a walkover into the quarterfinals.

According to Associated Press, Fognini had already received fines totalling $24,000 in the wake of that first-round defeat. The fines were for violations of three elements of the Grand Slam code of conduct: 

III-Q – Unsportsmanlike conduct

IV-A – Aggravated behaviour

IV-B – Conduct contrary to the integrity of the game

One of those violations involved the insulting of chair umpire Louise Engzell. 

Fognini has history

Fognini is no stranger to pulling out his wallet at tournaments. At Wimbledon in 2014, he received a total of $27,500 in fines after a first-round match.

And he won that match.

The Italian and umpire Engzell have met before.

Back in 2011, Fognini created all sorts of drama when the fifth set of his fourth-round match against Albert Montañes of Spain went into overtime.

Engzell was in the chair for that one. And as Fognini dramatically suffered a leg injury, he was allowed to delay the match for a significant period without Engzell firmly making a determination that Fognini either needed to retire, sit down, call the trainer – or something.

Montañes, understandably, was not a happy camper.

Fognini ended up winning that match. But the leg injury was legit enough that he had to default from his quarterfinal clash with Novak Djokovic.

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