NEW YORK (AP) — Fabio Fognini is perfecting the art of the outburst at Grand Slam tournaments.
During a second-round U.S. Open loss Friday, the 15th-seeded Fognini — who was fined $27,500 at Wimbledon in June — was back in the act, nearly hitting a line judge with an angry swat of a ball after a double-fault, then utterly destroying a racket by spiking it so hard the handle separated from the rest.
It all happened in the last game of the second set as Fognini was beaten by unseeded Adrian Mannarino of France.
First, serving at 30-all, Fognini hit a second serve long and Mannarino sent the ball back over the net. Standing near the baseline, Fognini smacked the ball out of the air so hard that it thudded against the wall behind the opposite baseline, sending a line judge scampering out of harm's way.
That earned some whistles from fans at Court 13, and a code violation for ball abuse from chair umpire Ali Nili — which in turned earned some swearing in Italian by Fognini.
Later in that game, he missed a forehand and chucked his racket to the ground. On the next point, another errant forehand by Fognini gave away the set, and he spiked his racket once, then picked it up and tossed it again, mangling it. Spectators jeered, and Nili announced a code violation for racket abuse.
— By Howard Fendrich, http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
MEASURE FOR MEASURE: As Gael Monfils hit ball after ball into the net during his first service game Friday at the U.S. Open — resulting in four double-faults — a thought occurred to him: "Seems pretty high, huh?"
So after getting broken to fall behind 2-0, Monfils figured it wouldn't hurt to check it out for himself.