NEW YORK (AP) — Fabio Fognini was kicked out of the U.S. Open doubles tournament Saturday and faces a possible permanent ban from all Grand Slam events after vulgarly insulting the chair umpire during his first-round loss in singles.
If the Grand Slam Board determines Fognini committed a "major offense," the Italian also could be fined up to $250,000 for violating the code of conduct.
Fognini, who was seeded 22nd in singles, was fined a total of $24,000 on Friday by the U.S. Open — nearly half of his $50,000 prize money in singles — for unsportsmanlike conduct during his 6-4, 7-6 (8), 3-6, 6-0 loss to Stefano Travaglia on Wednesday. Fognini was cited by the tournament for three violations, carrying fines of $15,000, $5,000 and $4,000. The chair umpire was Louise Engzell.
Fognini's suspension went into effect immediately, so he was withdrawn from the doubles tournament, where he and countryman Simone Bolelli had advanced to the third round.
After they won their second-round match on Friday — but before any repercussions for what happened in singles had been announced — Fognini was asked about the possibility of being penalized.
"When someone makes a mistake, they apologize. Accepted or not accepted, at this point that's not up to me," said Fognini, who is married to 2015 US. Open women's singles champion Flavia Pennetta. "Everyone makes mistakes. Certainly, I've had bad days. And I will have others, like every human being."
Fognini and Bolelli won the Australian Open doubles title in 2015.
The board said the major offenses were under the sections of Article IV, dealing with "aggravated behavior" and "conduct contrary to the integrity of the game." Violation of either section could lead to the permanent suspension from the four major tournaments and the $250,000 penalty.
The board said there would be no further comment until the process is completed.
Fognini, known as a volatile player, was fined $27,500 by Wimbledon in 2014 for his outbursts during a first-round victory.
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