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A chair umpire German Open was forced to separate Italian tennis player Fabio Fognini and Slovenian Aljaz Bedene after their first-round match on Tuesday over what appeared to be a ball-marking issue.
Fognini earned his 400th ATP Tour win with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 victory over Bedene, but when the two players met at the net to shake hands, Bedene exchanged a few last words with Fognini.
“Every time we play you do something like that,” a visibly frustrated Bedene heard.
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The the referee left his chair and stepped between the two, trying to escort Fognini away from the verbal altercation, but they continued.
Fognini and Bedene retreated to the Italian side of the field where Bedene allegedly accused him of pointing the wrong ball marks in the clay to be checked in his favor.
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The argument lasted nearly two minutes.
Fognini is no stranger to controversy. In 2017, he was suspended from the US Open for unsportsmanlike conduct after using misogynistic language towards a referee in the first round. He was later fined in 2019 for comments made during an outburst at Wimbledon.
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More recently, he apologized following the 2020 Summer Olympics after using homophobic slurs in his loss to Daniil Medvedev.