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Fabio Fognini’s 400th win ends in argument at net with Aljaz Bedene in Hamburg
The polarizing Italian is no stranger to theatrics on the tennis court, and Bedene is the latest to take issue after narrowly losing their three-set thriller at the Hamburg European Open.
Published Jul 20, 2022
It wouldn’t be a Fabio Fognini milestone without a little drama.
Playing at the Hamburg European Open, Fognini became the first Italian to win 400 ATP matches when he survived a titanic encounter with Aljaz Bedene, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5)—a Stat of the Day-worthy result—but could hardly celebrate as the vanquished Bedene drew him into an extended argument at net.
“Every time we play, you do something [like this],” the Slovenian is heard accusing Fognini as umpire Aurélie Tourte attempts to prevent a physical altercation.
While the microphones couldn’t pick up much of the debate, it appeared to concern a call on Bedene’s serve in the tiebreak as the two returned to the service line or, “the scene of the crime.”
The war of words continues for well over two minutes as Bedene remains incensed throughout, and it wouldn’t be the first time that the fiery—to put it generously—Fognini has rubbed an opponent the wrong way.
Andy Murray felt particularly aggrieved after a 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (2) defeat that took place at the Shanghai Masters back in 2019: as the former No. 1 attempted to put away a volley, Fognini yelled out to distract him, leading to a dispute that bled into the ensuing changeover.
“Someone made a noise,” Murray recalled after the match. “I looked in the direction of where the noise came from, and he then told me, ‘Stop looking at me; what are you looking at me for?’”
“He told me to stop complaining: ‘When you have a volley on top of the net you’re not going to miss it!’ I was like, ‘Well, I know I’m not going to miss it but I wanted to know where the sound came from,’ and it came from him.”
To run down all of Fognini’s on-court transgressions would likely take another 400 matches, but suffice to say that opponents who draw the former world No. 9 know what can await them across the net, and if they’re not careful, it can easily lead to defeat.