Opelka launches foul-mouthed umpire rant, as opponent Fognini gets injury from racket punch
Fabio Fognini showed off the extent of his injuries after punching his racket during his remarkable first-round comeback at the Australian Open - while opponent Reilly Opelka launched into an expletive-laden rant at the chair umpire.
The Italian went two sets down to American Opelka, and vented his frustration when smashing his racket on the ground.
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A separate incident saw Fognini punch his racket towards the ground before he dropped the second set.
Fognini’s antics prompted a furious response from Opelka, who called umpire Carlos Bernardes “pathetic” for not punishing his opponent. When Bernardes gave Opelka a time violation, he then launched into an aggressive and unsavoury rant.
"Let me ask you something, real quick," said Opelka. "How many f***** times. You're pathetic. You give me one warning after one throw. He's thrown his s*** four times, bro.”
Fognini was given a code violation for throwing his racket.
Fognini managed to turn around the match and complete a stunning 3-6 6-7(3) 6-4 6-3 7-6(5) victory, but at some cost.
The 32-year-old said he was struggling to bend his right index finger on his right hand due to the injury sustained from punching his racket.
He faces Jordan Thompson or Alexander Bublik in the next round on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Opelka reflected on his own outburst, admitting to AFP that it did not help his cause.
Opelka told AFP: "No, not at all. It hurts me.
"It's a negative emotion, especially against a guy like him. You want to keep him out of the match as much as possible.”