Italy's Fabio Fognini given suspended Grand Slam ban for calling ump a whore

Italy's Fabio Fognini was also fined $96,000, but if he remains on good behavior for the next two seasons, his ban will

italys-fabio-fognini-given-suspended-grand-slam-ban-for-calling-ump-a-whore photo 1
There won’t be any more tolerance for Fabio Fognini after the Italian vulgarly insulted the chair umpire at the U.S. Open. (Dmitri Lovetsky/Associated Press)

Italy’s Fabio Fognini, who referred to a female chair umpire as a “whore” during the U.S. Open, escaped immediate punishment on Wednesday despite the Grand Slam board finding him guilty of “major offenses.”

The Grand Slam board could’ve fined Fognini $250,000 and banned him for life from participating in further Grand Slams, but instead it opted to provisionally fine the 30-year-old $96,000 and suspend him for two Grand Slam tournaments, including a future U.S. Open. How much Fognini will actually end up paying, and whether he’ll have to serve any of his suspension, however, will be up to him. The Grand Slam board opted not to impose the punishment right away, but instead are giving him a two-year grace period to prove he can control his emotions.

“[S]uch suspensions will not be imposed if no further Grand Slam Major Offense conviction occurs through and including 2019,” the board’s decision, obtained by New York Times tennis correspondent Ben Rothenburg, read.

In addition, the board agreed to chop Fognini’s $96,000 fine to $48,000 should he adhere to the rules through 2019.

“If a further Grand Slam Major Offense is committed during the period, the full penalties will be reinstated in addition to any other penalties imposed for the subsequent Grand Slam Major Offense,” the statement continues, noting Fognini, who has already paid a $24,000 fine for the incident, has accepted the decision and has no plans to appeal.

The incident occurred in early September after Fognini lost his first-round match to Italy’s Stefano Travaglia, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-0. Upset with a call, Fognini called Swedish match umpire Louise Engzell a “whore” in his native tongue, which caught the attention of the U.S. Tennis Association. Tournament organizers ended up fining Fognini, who had already racked up two other conduct issues at the U.S. Open, and withdrawing Fognini from the tournament’s doubles competition.

Meanwhile, the Grand Slam board, an international group composed of  leaders from the four Grand Slam tournaments, including Chris Freeman from Tennis Australia, Bernard Giudicelli from the French Tennis Federation, Katrina Adams from the USTA and Philip Brook, the chairman of Wimbledon’s All England club, said they would investigate the situation to determine its severity.

This is not the first time Fognini’s been in trouble. Known for his often-vulgar emotional displays, the Italian was fined $27,500 by Wimbledon in 2014 over an outburst during a first-round victory.

In other tennis fine news, mercurial Australian star Nick Kyrgios was fined $31,085 by the Association of Tennis Professionals on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports, for walking off the court after dropping a set to Steve Johnson at the Shanghai Masters. Kyrgios cited medical issues, but refused to see a doctor before he left, which violated ATP Tour rules. Kyrgios’s fine includes the $21,085 he earned in first-round prize money, as well as an extra $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Kyrgios was fined $21,085, his first-round prize money, for failing to see the doctor following his retirement. According to ATP Tour rules, it is mandatory to be examined by a physician if injured. He was fined an additional $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct for yelling an obscenity on the court and arguing with umpire Fergus Murphy.

Kyrgios was fined at the same tournament last year for intentionally poor play against Mischa Zverev.

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Article Italy's Fabio Fognini given suspended Grand Slam ban for calling ump a whore compiled by www.washingtonpost.com

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