US Open Day 6 | Fognini is banned
The big news of the afternoon as far as the men’s game was concerned was the decision to default Fabio Fognini out of the US Open following his verbal abuse of an umpire.
In a surprise announcement Fognini, who had lost his first-round match against his countryman Stefano Travaglia when he made the controversial comments, had already attracted a $24,000 (£18,000) fine for the offence but the Grand Slam Board who investigated the incident further, decided the abuse was of such a level it merited further punishment under the Grand Slam Code in what they deemed was a Major Offence.
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 Fabio Fognini
The Italian who is renown for his volatility, has therefore been withdrawn from the men’s doubles competition where he had reached the second round with his partner Simone Bolelli.
Having lost his temper following that eventful first-round loss, the 22nd seed was heard using insulting and very vulgar language towards the Swedish official Louise Engzell – language which in fact cannot be repeated!
The offence, or offences, attracted three separate fines from the tournament organisers, including one single sanction of $15,000 dollars, the others amounting to $5,000 and $4,000. However, the 30-year-old could also have been suspended from future Grand Slams but that option seems to have been put on hold.
Fognini has issued a public apology for his behaviour via Twitter, saying: “First of all I would apologise to you fans, to the referee for what happened.
“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.”
After they won their doubles second-round match on Friday – but before any announcement had been made regarding the incident – Fognini was asked about the possibility of being penalized.
“When someone makes a mistake, they apologize. Accepted or not accepted, at this point that’s not up to me,” he replied. “Everyone makes mistakes. Certainly, I’ve had bad days. And I will have others, like every human being.”
In 2014 Fognini also received the biggest fine in Wimbledon history when he was fined $27,500 dollars for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Meanwhile in early action on court on Day 6 at Flushing Meadows, Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber breezed past John Millman to join compatriot Mischa Zverev in the last 16. The 33-year-old has never been further at the US Open and is likely to face a tough challenge next.
Kohlschreiber fell a break behind early in the opener but roared back to win 7-5 6-2 6-4 and his reward should be a meeting with the resurgent Roger Federer on Sunday.
It is the fourth time that Kohlschreiber, ranked 37 in the world, has reached the fourth-round stage at Flushing Meadows since 2012.
“This is my favorite tournament,” the German veteran said following his win. “It’s always a great atmosphere and now it’s my goal to get to the quarterfinals.”
Also through is Alexander Dolgopolov, the Ukranain who is at the center of match-fixing allegations which has seemingly acted as a spur, for he trounced Viktor Troicki 6-1 6-0 6-4 in just 82-minutes and could well be meeting Rafa Nadal in the round of 16!
Sixth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem also enjoyed a straight sets win, with his 7-5 6-3 6-4 victory over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino to book himself his fifth fourth-round spot at a grand slam. However, he has only once progressed further.
Sadly Gael Monfils was forced to retire against David Gofin during the second set of his third-round match
The 18th seeded Frenchman was trailing the 9th seed from Belgium 7-5 5-1 when he decided that enough was enough with regard to injuries he was carrying since Wimbledon
When asked to confirm what the injury was he replied: “The body – whole body.”
He later elaborated saying it was both his knees, his arm and his back, declaring: “It was pretty rough”.