This time, world number 28 Fabio Fognini has no intention of stopping. In recent years he has become the protagonist of numerous skits on the Tour, some even funny, but in most cases he has objectively exaggerated in his behavior, and there was no lack of apologies from him.
Unfortunately for him, the chair judge of his last match on the circuit was categorical: disqualification, due to some words addressed - so it seems - to the line judge. Fabio was busy in Barcelona for his first round match against the Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles, he had just lost the first set with a very clear 6-0 and was 4-4 in the second.
The wrath of Fognini
"I read the supervisor's report who disqualified me," Fabio told Corriere della Sera, "and many things don't add up. The judge claims that I insulted him in English. But when ever? I spoke Spanish, as I usually do.
I escaped a b***h mother too many, I know very well that bad words and blasphemies should not be said but by now you know me, I'm not perfect and not even a little angel, I'm not proud of anything, in the past I have done much worse and I took responsibility for it, I don't pretend to be an example for anyone, but I don't tell lies.
I am almost 34 years old, I have been playing professional for twenty, if I say that I have not insulted anyone they must believe me. Instead, they preferred to listen to a gentleman whom I perhaps disliked and who today returns to do his job, whatever it may be."
The former top 10 continued: "Money and points don't interest me. What happened tarnished my image, making me look like a chocolatier with my sponsors. I don't want to pass for the victim but they had to make me finish the game: I had started very badly, I was fighting like never before, swallowing toads.
In Monte Carlo I had found my tennis again: I was neither nervous nor irritated. I just asked that, please, that judge be changed because he had made glaring mistakes. But the supervisor did not allow me to explain. 'Fabio, I have to listen to him', he told me.
In the club where I have been training for ten years, where everyone knows me. Flavia too, who knows that I have not insulted anyone, was stunned. I'm not angry, I'm disappointed." Fabio concluded by announcing: "I want an apology for the huge mistake, if my appeal is rejected I will put everything in the hands of the lawyer and ask the ATP for compensation for very serious damage to image.
I've always admitted bullshit, but this time I'm right and I'm going straight to the goal. They denied me a confrontation with the line judge: we could have cleared up the misunderstanding. I've never said a bad word in English in my life! It can't end like this. I'm in the top 30, I'm fine physically, I still have a lot to give."