Tennis bad boy disqualified mid-match after abusing line judge

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Fabio Fognini blows up at the Barcelona Open after being defaulted.
Fabio Fognini smashed his racquet in anger after being defaulted in Barcelona. Pic: Twitter/Getty

Notorious hot-head Fabio Fognini has come under fire from tennis fans after being disqualified from the Barcelona Open for verbally abusing a line judge.

The 33-year-old was trailing World No.147 Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-0, 4-4 when he clashed with the official.

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Fogini was clearly furious as he stormed off the court, smashing his racquet in disgust as he made his way off.

The Italian protested his innocence after the match, insisting he had been penalised for something he "didn't do".

"What happened to me was inexplicable," he told reporters. 

"I'm going to investigate it. I paid for something that I didn't do."

Fognini is one of only a small number of players to have been defaulted from a match.

The most famous incident involved world number one Novak Djokovic who was disqualified from the 2020 US Open for hitting a line judge with a ball.

Nick Kyrgios was also defaulted at the Rome tournament in 2019 after hurling a chair on to the court.

Fognini, the world number 27, is no stranger to being disqualified.

At the 2017 US Open, he was booted out of the tournament and fined $24,000 for a series of insults aimed at a female chair umpire.

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Fresh Fognini incident sparks outrage

The Italian has a long and chequered history of on-court incidents and almost came to blows with a compatriot at the Australian Open earlier in the year.

Fognini and fellow Italian Salvatore Caruso had to be separated by the tournament supervisor during an ugly post-match altercation, following the former's thrilling five-set win.

Seen here, Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso argue at the 2021 Australian Open.
Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso had to be separated by the tournament supervisor at the 2021 Australian Open. Image: Getty/Eurosport

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.

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 Italian was also involved in an infamous incident with Andy Murray at the Shanghai Masters in 2019 when he shouted towards the Brit in the middle of a point.

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The explosive incident that followed went viral after Murray told Fognini to "shut up" while he was protesting to the chair umpire.

The World No.27's latest incident has led to a chorus of condemnation on social media.

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