WATCH: Fabio Fognini defaulted for verbally abusing official, smashes racket while storming off court

Shahida Jacobs
Fabio Fognini pointing the finger

Fabio Fognini has courted controversy again as the Italian was disqualified from his Barcelona Open second-round match against Bernabe Zapata Miralles for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Italian found himself 0-6, 4-4 down against the world No 147 from Spain when the match came to a dramatic end as he got involved in a verbal altercation with a line official after disagreeing over a line call.

Although the television director failed to show footage of the argument or the controversial call, the ninth seed was disqualified for verbally abusing the line judge with the chair umpire ruling it as unsportsmanlike.

Fognini continued to remonstrate with the official and while leaving the court he shouted “I didn’t tell him anything” and then smashed his racket at the net.

It isn’t the first time that Fognini has caused controversy as at Wimbledon 2019 he shouted “I wish a bomb would explode on this club. A bomb should explode here” while at the 2017 US Open he was thrown out of the tournament after calling a female umpire a “whore and c**ksu**ker”.

At this year’s Australian Open he was also involved in a heated argument with compatriot Salvatore Caruso as Caruso didn’t apologise for a few “lucky” points during the match.

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