Foul-mouthed tirades mar Fognini's epic comeback

Fabio Fognini (Getty Images)
Fabio Fognini (Getty Images)

Melbourne - Italian firebrand Fabio Fognini came through an intense five-set epic at the Australian Open on Tuesday in a match overshadowed by expletive-laden rants at the umpire, who was slammed as "pathetic".

The 12th seed was two sets down when his first round clash against giant American Reilly Opelka was halted by rain on Monday.

They returned under blue skies on Tuesday when Fognini emerged a 3-6, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) winner but with an injured hand after hitting his racquet in anger.

The injury was testament to a niggly affair with no love lost between the players.

When Opelka felt Fognini got away with time-wasting and not being penalised for throwing his racquet, he confronted umpire Carlos Bernardes.

"Let me ask you something, real quick," an incensed Opelka said, before aiming a volley of swear words at the official.

"You're pathetic. You give me one warning after one throw. He's thrown his three or four times, bro," he added.

Fognini, who lost his temper several times on Monday, also had strong words for the umpire, ranting in Italian and gesturing with his hands, apparently over a time violation.

He reportedly told Bernardes: "You're not fit for this."

Asked about it later, Fognini, who had a nasty red mark across the knuckles on his racquet hand, did not want to dwell on the angry exchanges.

"It was not my problem," he said, preferring to focus on his comeback, which saw him withstand 35 aces from the 6ft 11ins (211cm) Opelka.

"I was lucky that the rain came on the right time. Yesterday he was playing better than me," he added. "This kind of player is probably one of the worst first round matches. Really tough."

Asked whether the red mark was a burn, Fognini replied: "It's okay, I hit the racquet. Yes (it hurt) a little bit. Especially this finger," he added, pointing to his right index finger.

Opelka admitted his rant at the umpire didn't help his cause against the Italian hothead.

"No, not at all. It hurts me," he said. "It's a negative emotion, especially against a guy like him. You want to keep him out of the match as much as possible.

"You don't want to engage with a guy like that. It's definitely not a positive thing."

The ugly scenes came a day after feisty Canadian Denis Shapovalov verbally abused an umpire in his first round defeat by Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.

The world number 13 turned on the official when he received a code violation for throwing his racquet.

"I'm not breaking any rules," he shouted. "It's my racquet, I can do whatever the hell I want with it."

Collated results on day two of the Australian Open Grand Slam at Melbourne Park on Tuesday:

Men's singles

1st round

Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Hugo Dellien (BOL) 6-2, 6-3, 6-0

Federico Del Bonis (ARG) bt Joo Sousa (POR) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)

Peter Gojowczyk (GER) bt Christopher Eubanks (USA) 7-6 (7/1), 6-3, 4-6, 6-0

Pablo Carreo-Busta (ESP x27) bt Jozef Kovalk (SVK) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/2)

Nick Kyrgios (AUS x23) bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-2, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/1)

Gilles Simon (FRA) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

Mikael Ymer (SWE) bt Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) 6-4, 6-1, 6-2

Karen Khachanov (RUS x16) bt Mario Vilella (ESP) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3

Gael Monfils (FRA x10) bt Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) 6-1, 6-4, 6-2

Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 7-5

Aljaz Bedene (SLO) bt James Duckworth (AUS) 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-4

Ernests Gulbis (LAT) bt Flix Auger-Aliassime (CAN x20) 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4

Taylor Fritz (USA x29) bt Tallon Griekspoor (NED) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

Kevin Anderson (RSA) bt Ilya Ivashka (BLR) 6-4, 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10/8)

Alex Bolt (AUS) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 7-6 (7/1), 1-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-4

Dominic Thiem (AUT x5) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-3, 7-5, 6-2

Daniil Medvedev (RUS x4) bt Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2

Pedro Martnez (ESP) bt Dominik Koepfer (GER) 6-3, 6-4, 7-5

Jaume Munar (ESP) bt Hugo Gaston (FRA) 7-5, 5-7, 6-0, 6-3

Alexei Popyrin (AUS) bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x28) 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-1, 0-0 abandon

John Isner (USA x19) bt Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/5)

Alejandro Tabilo (CHI) bt Daniel Galn (COL) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4

Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)

Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x15) bt Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4

David Goffin (BEL x11) bt Jrmy Chardy (FRA) 6-4, 6-3, 6-1

Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) bt Cameron Norrie (GBR) 7-5, 3-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4

Yuichi Sugita (JPN) bt Elliot Benchetrit (FRA) 6-2, 6-0, 6-3

Andrey Rublev (RUS x17) bt Christopher O'Connell (AUS) 6-3, 0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)

Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x26) bt Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3

Fernando Verdasco (ESP) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 7-5, 6-2, 6-1

Egor Gerasimov (BLR) bt Casper Ruud (NOR) 6-3, 7-6 (8/6), 1-6, 4-6, 7-6 (10/6)

Alexander Zverev (GER x7) bt Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3

Tennys Sandgren (USA) bt Marco Trungelliti (ARG) 6-1, 6-4, 7-5

Jordan Thompson (AUS) bt Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

Fabio Fognini (ITA x12) bt Reilly Opelka (USA) 3-6, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (10/5)

Jannik Sinner (ITA) bt Max Purcell (AUS) 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 6-4

Tommy Paul (USA) bt Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Hubert Hurkacz (POL x31) bt Dennis Novak (AUT) 6-7 (4/7), 1-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4

John Millman (AUS) bt Ugo Humbert (FRA) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 1-6, 7-5

Filip Krajinovic (SRB) bt Quentin Halys (FRA) 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/1), 3-6, 4-6, 7-5

Christian Garn (CHI) bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4

Milos Raonic (CAN x32) bt Lorenzo Giustino (ITA) 6-2, 6-1, 6-3

Benot Paire (FRA x21) bt Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-0

Marin Cilic (CRO) bt Corentin Moutet (FRA) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

Michael Mmoh (USA) bt Pablo Andjar (ESP) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4

Roberto Bautista (ESP x9) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-2, 6-2, 7-5

Diego Schwartzman (ARG x14) bt Lloyd Harris (RSA) 6-4, 6-2, 6-2

Alejandro Davidovich (ESP) bt Norbert Gombos (SVK) 4-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2

Marc Polmans (AUS) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (8/10), 6-4

Dusan Lajovic (SRB x24) bt Kyle Edmund (GBR) 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)

Tatsuma Ito (JPN) bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) 6-4, 6-2, 7-5

Women's singles

1st round

Polona Hercog (SLO) bt Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-3, 6-3

Greet Minnen (BEL) bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 7-5

Elena Rybakina (KAZ x29) bt Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-3, 6-2

Alison Riske (USA x18) bt Wang Yafan (CHN) 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 6-3

Madison Keys (USA x10) bt Darya Kasatkina (RUS) 6-3, 6-1

Arantxa Rus (NED) bt Magda Linette (POL) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4

Nao Hibino (JPN) bt Shuai Peng (CHN) 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3

Maria Sakkari (GRE x22) bt Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 6-2, 6-2

Ons Jabeur (TUN) bt Johanna Konta (GBR x12) 6-4, 6-2

Caroline Garcia (FRA) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-2

Dayana Yastremska (UKR x23) bt Kaja Juvan (SLO) 6-1, 6-1

Wang Qiang (CHN x27) bt Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 7-6 (7/2), 6-3

Fiona Ferro (FRA) bt Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 6-2, 6-1

Belinda Bencic (SUI x6) bt Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 6-3, 7-5

Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) bt Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 6-1, 6-4

Donna Vekic (CRO x19) bt Maria Sharapova (RUS) 6-3, 6-4

Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Monica Niculescu (ROU) 5-7, 6-1, 6-0

Catherine Bellis (USA) bt Tatjana Maria (GER) 6-0, 6-2

Karolina Muchova (CZE x20) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (10/7)

Danielle Collins (USA x26) bt Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) 6-1, 3-6, 6-4

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Hsieh Su-wei (TPE) 6-1, 6-3

Harriet Dart (GBR) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10/6)

Simona Halep (ROU x4) bt Jennifer Brady (USA) 7-6 (7/5), 6-1

Elina Svitolina (UKR x5) bt Katie Boulter (GBR) 6-4, 7-5

Lauren Davis (USA) bt Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 6-4, 6-2

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 0-6, 6-1, 6-0

Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) bt Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x31) 6-1, 6-1

Zarina Diyas (KAZ) bt Amanda Anisimova (USA x21) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

Anna Blinkova (RUS) bt Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 7-5, 6-4

Arina Rodionova (AUS) bt Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-0

Kiki Bertens (NED x9) bt Irina Begu (ROU) 6-1, 6-4

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) bt Marketa Vondrousova (CZE x15) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4

Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Antonia Lottner (GER) 6-3, 6-3

Priscilla Hon (AUS) bt Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 6-3, 6-4

Angelique Kerber (GER x17) bt Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA) 6-2, 6-2

Laura Siegemund (GER) bt Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 6-1, 6-4

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x2) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-1, 7-5




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