The Grand Slam Board’s recent decision in the case of Fabio Fognini reads like the lords of tennis went out of their way not to come down too hard on the hotheaded player despite the repugnant nature of the offenses he committed at the US Open.
Early this week, the board (which writes and enforces the rules for the four major tournaments) concluded its investigation of the Fognini affair and provisionally fined him $94,000, while suspending him for two Grand Slam tournaments — but only if he commits another “major offense” in the next two years.
“If [Fognini] does commit another major offense, it will amount to the biggest fine and punishment ever levied in tennis — by far,” Bill Babcock, the director of the Grand Slam Board told ESPN.com.
The Grand Slam Board determined that Fognini had committed a “major offense,” which triggered the lengthy investigation that produced this decision.
Fognini found guilty of major offenses by board Italian tennis player Fabio Fognini has been handed a suspended ban of two Grand Slam tournaments for insulting a chair umpire at the US Open.
The $24,000 Fognini already paid onsite at the US Open is nonrefundable; thus, even in the best-case scenario for Fognini, his vulgar antics will have ended up costing him $72,000.
Also, once the board determined that Fognini had committed a major offense, it quickly made history by suspending him.
If Fognini commits three or more minor violations at Grand Slam events (anything from uttering audible obscenities and racket smashing to arguing with officials or fans) in the coming two years, he could be charged with aggravated behavior in which case the full two-major suspension and maximum fine kick in.