'I pity you': Italian firebrand drags Rafa Nadal into insane Aus Open meltdown

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

Italian maverick Fabio Fognini has blasted the chair umpire in his thrilling five-set victory over Reilly Opelka.

Opelka was the latest player to blow up at the Australian Open, labelling a chair umpire “f***ing pathetic” in an ugly foul-mouthed tirade.

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The giant American was in action against 12th seed Fognini on Tuesday when he was left incensed by the Italian’s supposed time wasting.

But Fognini then lost his cool ranting at the umpire in Italian, before switching to English.

Fabnio Fognini (pictured right) reportedly brought Rafael Nadal (pictured left) into his outburst at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)

In the reported translation, Fognini told the umpire: “You're a shame. You're not fit for this. You can't give me point penalty for throwing my racquet when [Opelka] is saying ‘f**k, f**k’ all the time.”

“It's not like I'm telling you to f**k off, if I told you to f**k off it'd be different.”

The umpire then asked Fognini to switch to English prompting another outburst.

“I pity you,” he continued in Italian, according to reports.


"I can't play with a referee who doesn't give me tranquility. When Nadal asks for it, you [ATP] do it, when Fognini asks for it, you don't. When His Majesty asks for it, you do it.”

Nadal was a teammate of Fognini in the Rod Laver Cup last year.

Ugly Aus Open scenes

The ugly scenes came a day after feisty Canadian Denis Shapovalov verbally abused an umpire in his first round defeat by Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.

Italy's Fabio Fognini speaks to the umpire after a point against Reilly Opelka of the US during their men's singles match on day two of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 21, 2020. (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)

The umpire gave the world number 13 a code violation for throwing his racquet and it didn't go down well.

"I'm not breaking any rules," he shouted at the official. "It's my racquet, I can do whatever the hell I want with it.

"If I broke it, give me a code, 100 percent. I didn't break my racquet. It was a terrible call, do your job."