Barcelona Open: Rafael Nadal Advances, Fabio Fognini Gets Disqualified
Italian Tennis player Fabio Fognini was disqualified at the Barcelona Open after a line judge reported to the chair umpire that Fognini used foul language. The ninth seeded Italian also broke his racket after hitting it at the net post on his way out.
Fognini denied of any wrongdoing, but was disqualified for alleged verbal abuse. He was trailing Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain by 6-0, 4-4. He made a strong comeback in the second set, but was defaulted by the chair umpire.
Fabio Fognini, after disqualification, told reporters, “I paid for something that I did not do. I did bad things on court in the past, but today, I was very calm. I was not even speaking.”
Meanwhile, Nadal required three sets to beat his 111th-ranked opponent in his first match at the Barcelona Open on Wednesday. Nadal had to overcome a slow start to defeat Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 at the clay court tournament. Nadal is aiming to seek a record 12th title in the Barcelona tournament.
He won the event six times in its last nine editions. The Barcelona Open was not played last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Matches like today, like yesterday, help the improvement,” the 11-time Barcelona champion said after the match. “At the same time, I didn’t play tough matches for a long time, so winning two matches like this, I really hope, gives me extra confidence.”
“So the past three matches that I played were three sets and I don’t take something negative [from that],” Nadal said. “For me it’s something very positive. I need time on court, I need to go through these moments and the past two matches I went through these moments with a victory. Tomorrow is another opportunity. I’m excited to keep playing and [have] another chance to play better.”