- American tennis star Reilly Opelka called an umpire “pathetic” as part of a foul-mouthed attack during his Australian Open first round loss to Fabio Fognini on Tuesday.
- Opelka had led the tie by two sets, however was penned back to two apiece by the Italian when he lost his cool after being given a time violation.
- “How many f—ing times did [Fognini] throw his racket? And you haven’t given him s—.” he said. “You’re pathetic.”
- Fognini had also lost his temper earlier in the tie, earning himself a code violation for smashing his racket.
- “You give me one warning after one throw. He’s thrown his s— four times, bro.”
- Fognini won the match 10-5 in a final set tie break, and now faces Australian Jordan Thompson for a place in the third round.
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American tennis star Reilly Opelka launched a foul-mouthed tirade at an umpire at the Australian Open on Tuesday, calling him “pathetic” as he crashed out at the first round.
Opelka was penned back by Italian Fabio Fogini from two sets down at the 1573 Arena in what was an exhausting three hour, 38-minute encounter spread over two days.
The American took the first set with ease 6-3 on Monday, before launching himself into poll position to advance by taking the second in a tie break, just before rain halted play.
Upon returning to the court the next day, Fognini was revitalized, clawing himself back to two sets apiece. Both players were then level on three games each in the final set when Opelka lost his cool with the umpire. who had just handed him a time violation.
“Just to retaliate real quick, quick tell,” an incensed Opelka said as he stormed over towards Carlos Bernardes’ chair. “How many f—ing times did [Fognini] throw his racket? And you haven’t given him s—.”
Fognini had smashed his racket in frustration on Monday, for which he was given a code violation, and he also punched it on a separate occasion just before losing the second set.
“You’re pathetic,” Opelka continued. “You give me one warning after one throw. He’s thrown his s— four times, bro.”
Watch Opelka’s meltdown here:
After receiving a warning for his language, Opelka and Fognini both won each of their remaining service games, setting up a final set tie break, which the Italian won 10-5.
“Fabio really stepped it up today, which I was expecting,” Opelka said after the defeat, according to ATP Tour. “I remember watching him beat Nadal at the US Open down two sets. By no means was I expecting [to be] one set and out today.”
Victory for Fognini, 32, means he has now reached the Australian Open’s second round for a fourth year running.
“I was lucky that the rain came on the right time,” he said. “Yesterday [Opelka] was playing better than me. I only lost one break, and I was two sets down. These guys, they’re always tough to play but we have to.”
Fognini will now play Australian Jordan Thompson for a place in the third round on Wednesday.
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