Defending Champ Fognini Crashes Out of Hamburg, Apologizes for Ethnic Slur During Match

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Fabio Fognini


The seeds exodus continued this week in Hamburg, as Italian No. 1 Fabio Fognini fell to No. 149 ranked qualifier Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 6-0 to crash out of the tournament in staggering fashion. The defending champion only managed to win a total of eight points in the second set.

Not only did Fognini exit the tournament in disappointing fashion, he also karate chopped his racquet, and insulted his opponent with an ethnic slur. The Italian called Krajinovic a “Zingaro,” which means gypsy. A video can be seen of Fognini muttering the word while he had his back to the Serbian.

After being confronted about his actions, Fognini apologized and made no effort to mask his mistake. He tweeted in Italian: “I made a mistake. I didn’t want to offend anyone. … I know Filip very well and anyone who plays sports knows that at times you get carried away saying things that make no sense.”

Fognini was not the only seed to exit the tournament early, as Dustin Brown saved two match points in the third set before dispatching ninth-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (8). 17-year-old Alexander Zverev also defeated fifth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia lost 7-5, 7-5.

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