Fabio Fognini 'attacks' rival in post-match fight at Australian Open

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso, pictured here having to be separated by the tournament supervisor.
Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso had to be separated by the tournament supervisor. Image: Getty/Eurosport

Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso had to be separated by the tournament supervisor during an ugly post-match altercation at the Australian Open on Thursday night.

The Italian compatriots traded insults at John Cain Arena after their epic match, which went to a fifth set tiebreaker and clocked in at almost four hours.

‘DISGRACE’: Woman kicked out of Aus Open for Nadal slur

‘EXCEPTIONAL’: Alex de Minaur brilliance leaves fans in awe

Fognini and Caruso started exchanging words after meeting at the net, before things escalated into finger-pointing and shouting.

The angry exchange in Italian lasted about two minutes and continued even when Caruso attempted to leave for the locker-room.

Fognini reportedly attacked Caruso for being “f***ing lucky” after edging his countryman in the second-round marathon.

The pair’s words were quickly translated to English and revealed how Caruso had taken offence to Fognini describing his performance - which produced a 4-6 6-2 2-6 6-3 7-6 (14-12) scoreline - as full of lucky shots.

Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso, pictured here arguing after their match at the Australian Open.
Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso argue after their match at the Australian Open. (Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images)

Fognini: You have been f***ing lucky, you should apologise, I didn’t disrespect you until now.

Caruso: What are you talking about?

Fognini: You won four identical lucky points.

Caruso: What are you talking about?

Fognini: Can’t I say you have been lucky?

Caruso: I didn’t dare to say a single world in the whole match.

Fognini: I said something because you called for it

Caruso: I didn’t dare to say a single world in the whole match, enough now.

Fognini: Can’t I say you have been lucky? What’s the problem?

Caruso: You can do whatever you want.

Fognini: So why are you breaking my balls now? I said you have been lucky, if I’m wrong saying it, I’m wrong. Don’t attack me.

Caruso: I didn’t attack you. I’m telling you it’s not the way to behave because I didn’t tell you a single world. Let’s say I didn’t expect that from you.

Fognini: What did you not expect? I told you you have been lucky, you didn’t like it, what should I say?

Caruso: It’s not the way to do it.

Fognini: Why? What’s the problem?

Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso, pictured here exchanging words.
Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso exchange words. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Fognini plays down altercation in press conference

But the 33-year-old Fognini was hesitant to speak about the blow-up everyone around Melbourne Park was talking about in his post-match press conference.

“Italian, English, it’s not important,” Fognini, while trying to brush off questioning, said.

“We're good friends and what happens on court, stays on court.

“I am really happy, of course, because I think I was not playing my best tennis, so I had more chances than him in the fifth (set), but that's the sport.

“I was lucky, too. It's not important what you asked me before because these kind of things sometimes on court.”

Fognini has racked up a long list of fines during his controversial 17-year professional career.

In 2019, he was docked $4300 for saying Wimbledon should be bombed during a loss to Tennys Sandgren.

But that is pocket change compared to the fine he received at the US Open for verbally abusing a female umpire in 2017.

Fognini had to cough up more than $170,000 and was given a suspended grand slam ban for using misogynistic language.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.