Fabio Fognini in French Open rant after injuring himself punching racket – ‘I’m stupid’
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Fabio Fognini went on an astonishing self-critical rant after his French Open defeat at the hands of Federico Delbonis on Friday afternoon, which was overshadowed by a moment of madness on the part of the experienced Italian. Fognini was spotted punching his racket multiple times during the second set after launching a tame forehand into the net, before recoiling in pain with a bloodied hand.
The 27th seed required a medical timeout shortly afterwards in order to allow the injury to be strapped up, but he struggled to get back into the match upon his return to the court, eventually losing in straight sets.
The result will see unseeded hopeful Delbonis go up against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Sunday for a place in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.
Fognini, who has never progressed beyond the last eight of a Grand Slam tournament, will be forced to wait until Wimbledon later this month to redeem himself after Friday’s bizarre on-court meltdown.
He was already sporting an apparent hand injury that was only worsened by his furious antics, allowing Delbonis to stroll to a 6-4 6-1 6-3 victory.
The 34-year-old went on to slam his own performance in a passionate post-match rant, admitting that the end result was a fair reflection of the day’s events.
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“I am stupid, Rico [name of the journalist],” said Fognini. “I am stupid because I am stupid.
“As soon as I get 40-0 or 40-15 it is like I am going to win the game. I also told it to Alberto [another journalist]. I am stupid, it doesn’t make any sense to look for any excuse.
“It is entirely my fault. If the other player is doing good… but bloody hell! I am 40-0. I am 40-0 and I just make my life so difficult. Well, it ended up like that.
“There is not much I can say. I played a bad match, and he has played good tennis, so it is fair I lost the match.”
Friday’s outburst marked the latest controversial incident in a string of headline-grabbing events involving Fognini over the course of his professional career.
He was kicked out of the US Open in 2017 after launching a foul-mouthed tirade at a chair umpire, before raising more than a few eyebrows at Wimbledon two years later with some interesting comments on his third-round defeat to Tennys Sandgren.
“It’s fair to play here? Damn English, really. Damned, really,” said Fognini during his 6-3 7-6(12) 6-3 loss to the American.
“Wish a bomb would explode on this club. A bomb should explode here.”
Fognini became the second player to require medical treatment for a self-inflicted injury at this year’s French Open, with Karen Khachanov dealing with his anger in a similar vein earlier this week.
The Russian punched his racket during his second-round defeat to Kei Nishikori and was promptly forced to take a medical timeout.
He failed to recover his form after returning to the match and was eliminated by the Japanese hopeful after a five-set slog on the clay in Paris.
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