Fabio Fognini in ugly post-match altercation with opponent

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Fabio Fognini and opponent Aljaz Bedene are pictured arguing at the Hamburg Open.
Fabio Fognini had it out with vanquished first round opponent Aljaz Bedene at the Hamburg Open, after the later was unhappy with the Italian's conduct. Picture: TennisTV

Moments after winning his 400th ATP Tour match at the Hamburg Open, Fabio Fognini has become involved in an ugly altercation with his opponent.

The chair umpire had to step in between Fognini and Aljaz Bedene, with the latter incensed over what he believed were a number of contentious calls throughout the match at the Hamburg Open.

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After coming face to face beneath the umpire's chair, the pair then moved towards mid-court, where Fognini pointed out a number of scuff marks on the clay to Bedene.

Though much of the interaction was inaudible to on-court microphones, at one point Bedene could be heard saying to Fognini 'very time we play, you do something like this'.

After the pair exchanged words at mid-court, the incident seemed to settle down.

Fognini had just beaten the Slovenian World No.285 in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, in what ended up being a much more difficult fight for his 400th win than expected.

After dropping the second set, Fognini had to salvage five break points in the opening game of the third and final set, which went down to a tiebreak.

The Hamburg Open altercation is the latest in a series of ugly incidents dotted throughout Fognini's career.

The 2013 ATP Tour champion was booted from the 2017 US Open after abusing a chair umpire, while he was under fire at the 2019 Shanghai Masters after appearing to spit towards a chair umpire.

Fognini is set to face 7th seed Karen Khachanov in the second round.

Khachanov has saved two match points to win his opening clash at the Hamburg Open, but the news wasn't as good for Botic van de Zandschulp.

The fifth-seeded Dutchman suffered a surprise 6-4 6-4 loss on Monday to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Van de Zandschulp, the world No.25, was bundled out in 90 minutes by the 23-year-old Spaniard who goes on to play Jozef Kovalik after the Slovakian qualifier saw off German wildcard Max Hans Rehberg 3-6 7-5 6-1.

Hamburg Open gets underway in fiery fashion

Top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz won his first-round match, while Emil Ruusuvuori had an upset victory over Diego Schwartzman.

The 19-year-old Alcaraz dropped the opening set but recovered to win 3-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3) against 259th-ranked German wildcard Nicola Kuhn on Tuesday.

The Spaniard's next assignment is a second-round meeting with Filip Krajinovic after the Serbian saved two match points before prevailing 6-1 4-6 7-6 (8-6) against Sebastian Baez of Argentina.

Should Alcaraz reach the final in Germany this week, he will move to a career-high No.5 in the world next Monday. If he wins his fifth ATP Tour title of the year, he will rise to No.4.

Carlos Alcaraz is pictured returning a shot during the first round of the Hamburg Open.
Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz is poised for a rankings boost if he turns in a strong showing at the Hamburg Open. (Photo by Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images)

"It was tough. I mean, the first round in every tournament is tough," Alcaraz, who was playing his first match since his run to the fourth round at Wimbledon, said.

"I came from the grass, and the difference was too much. I'm really happy to be [through to] the second round. I'm sure that I will be better in the next round, but I'm really happy with the win."

Finland's Ruusuvuori won 7-5 6-4 against third-seeded Schwartzman, who was coming off a 6-1 6-0 loss in his previous match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain last week in Bastad.

Fourth seed Carreno Busta's good form continued with a 6-2 6-1 success over Italian qualifier Luca Nardi.

The sixth and eighth seeds though are out.

Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili was beaten 6-4 6-0 by Russia's Aslan Karatsev and Dane Holger Rune lost 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 to Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor.

With AAP

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