Wimbledon’s chief executive has said that Fabio Fognini is “likely” to earn a fine for his offensive outburst on Saturday, during which the Italian player said he hoped a “bomb would explode on this club”. Nick Kyrgios could also be hit with a similar punishment for his argument with the chair umpire during a defeat to Rafael Nadal.
The 10th-ranked Italian also referred to the “damned English” during a straight sets defeat to the American Tennys Sandgren in the third round.
He later apologised for his remarks although Richard Lewis said Fognini was still likely to be hit by a “small fine”.
“It wouldn’t surprise me in the end if there is a small fine but we would certainly keep it in context and readily accept the apology,” Lewis said.
“It’s one of the beauties of tennis really that it is a head-to-head contest and emotions and passions run high and sometimes they slightly over-spill, and sometimes they over-spill in a way that there has to be some sanctions.
“But it’s certainly not something from a club’s point of view that we’re looking to make examples of a particular situation, the Fabio one being a good example, we want to keep it in context.
“It’s in the heat of the moment, it’s an unfortunate comment but we readily accept the apology that, as an example, Fabio gave. It’s part of the heat of battle often, not always but often.”
Lewis also said that Kyrgios’ comments to umpire Damien Dumusois during his defeat to Rafael Nadal last week will be looked into.
Kyrgios was unhappy with the way Dumusois allowed the Spaniard to play particularly slowly. “Wow, you’ve got so much power up there,” Kyrgios told him. “Look at you! Look at you!”
Later in the match Kyrgios said: “You’re no-one. You think you’re important. You have no idea what’s going on. You’re a disgrace.”
Lewis added: ”You would see players in doubles in particular, it is very common in doubles to aim at the opponent or to the body of the opponent.
“You see it in practise all the time, it is part and parcel of being a professional tennis player that that is what happens.
“I wouldn’t have any issue with that. Whether there is anything to do with some of the conversational discussion Nick had with the umpire I think that may be worthy of scrutiny but the underarm serve and hitting the ball at your opponent is part of the sport.”
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