TENNIS

Italian tennis star Fabio Fognini fined for sexist outburst during US Open

Fognini was kicked out of the US Open and fined $24,000 at the time for insulting Swedish female umpire Louise Engzell.

Italian Fabio Fognini was fined $96,000 and hit with a suspended ban from two Grand Slams on Wednesday for having insulted an umpire at the US Open.

Fognini was kicked out of the US Open and fined $24,000 at the time for launching a sexist tirade at Swedish female umpire Louise Engzell after a first round defeat to Italian compatriot Stefano Travaglia at the end of August.

The world No 28 has been warned that if he re-offends between now and the end of 2019, he will be banned from two Grand Slams, one of which will be the US Open.

However, if he keeps out of trouble his fine will be halved.

“Mr Fognini accepts and will not appeal this decision and he has expressed remorse for his admitted misconduct,” said the Grand Slam Board in a statement.

Shortly after being kicked out of the US Open, Fognini, 30, appeared contrite and said already he would accept whatever punishment the Grand Slam Board decided to impose.

“Should (the Grand Slam Board) decide to ban me from the next Australian Open, I will accept the decision, because actions have consequences, and I need to pay for what I did,” Fognini told Italian Sky Sports TV a month ago.

“I am aware of the severity of my mistake, I take full responsibility for it.”

However, a post on Fognini’s Instagram hinted at another story. The player uploaded a photograph of peanuts as an Instagram story, in what tennis fans think is a jibe at the fine amount. Here’s what he put up.

Screengrab from @fabiofogna
Screengrab from @fabiofogna
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

As he delved deeper into the tech space, Ruchir realised that he sought to explore the human side of technology. A fan of Agatha Christie and other crime novels, he wanted to express himself through storytelling and steered his career towards branding and marketing – which he sees as another way to tell stories.

Ruchir, then, migrated to Mumbai for the next phase in his career. It was in the Maximum City that his belief in technology being the great leveller was reinforced. “The city’s infrastructure is a challenging one, Uber helped me navigate the city” says Ruchir. By using the VoiceOver features, Ruchir could call an Uber wherever he was and move around easily. He reached out to Uber to see if together they could spread the message of accessible technology. This partnership resulted in a video that captures the essence of Ruchir’s story: The World in Voices.

Play

It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.