Fiery Italian Fabio Fognini was disqualified from the Barcelona ATP tournament on Wednesday for verbally abusing a line judge.
The 33-year-old was trailing world number 147 Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-0, 4-4 in the opening round when he clashed with the official and was defaulted by the umpire for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Fogini was clearly furious as he stormed off the court, smashing his racquet in disgust as he made his way off.
Fabio Fognini has been defaulted in Barcelona. pic.twitter.com/FkJWWElEQZ
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) April 21, 2021
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 paid for something that I did not do. I did bad things on court in the past but today I was very calm. I was not even speaking. I will investigate about it. It’s the first time it happens in my life.”
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.