Italian player Fabio Fognini wants an apology from the ATP for disqualifying him from the recently-concluded Barcelona Open.
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.
“I did not insult the line judge in the match against Zapata Miralles. I was frustrated, angry: I was talking to myself,” he was quoted saying in the Italian press.
“Money and points don’t interest me. What happened has tarnished my image, making me look like a chocolatier with my sponsors,” he added.
Fognini, along with French maverick Benoit Paire, was reprimanded by his racquet sponsor Babolat for his behavior.
“Concerned about the recent outbursts of Benoit Paire and Fabio Fognini, we have informed them that we do not approve of their behavior,” Babolat had stated last week. “Today, we reaffirmed our values and the importance of respecting them.”
Fognini is known to be temperamental on court and has exchanged heated words with his opponents in the past. But the 33-year-old insisted that he wasn’t in the wrong this time and would not back down from a legal course of action if ATP did not admit to their error.
“I want an apology for the enormous error. If my appeal is rejected, I will put everything in the hand of the lawyer and ask the ATP for compensation for very serious damage to image,” he said.
“I’ve always admitted them, but this time I’m right, and I’m going straight to the goal.”