Rafael Nadal has criticised US Open’s decision to take four days to suspend Italian player Fabio Fognini from the tournament after he was accused of insulting the umpire.
30-year-old Fognini used foul language against the lady umpire, Louise Engzell in his first round defeat at the hands of Stefano Travaglia. And while he lost that match, he went on to play in the men’s doubles competition before he was finally defaulted out of the tournament.
Interestingly, the US Open organisers said they needed the time to translate Fognini’s rant against the chair umpire, something that hasn’t gone down well with Nadal.
“Three days for that? I don’t think so. He has been out winning two matches since then. It is not the ideal situation. It would be much better to do it immediately, not three days later.”
On his part, Fognini tweeted his apologies, for the incident.
“It was just a very bad day, but it did not forgive my behaviour in the match. Although I’m a hot-head (and though I’ve been right in most circumstances) I was wrong. But in the end, it’s only a tennis game.”
For now, Fognini has been provisionally suspended from the competition, pending a final determination whether a major offence had been committed. If that was indeed the case, Fognini could be fined a further $250,000 from the $24,000 he has already been penalised.
The Italian has already been fined $27,500 in a match at the 2014 Wimbledon for throwing his racquet and getting into an argument with the officials. It has been the highest fine for any player till date.
Interestingly, since that foul-mouthed rant, he has featured in two doubles matches at the US Open and won them both. He – and his partner Simone Bolelli – defeated Nicholas Monroe and John-Patrick Smith in the third round but were defaulted out, allowing the American-Aussie pair to feature in the quarter-final instead.
So what did Fognini actually say to the chair umpire?
Fognini is alleged to have swore in Italian and called Swedish umpire Engzell a ‘whore’, among other things.