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Fabio Fognini, the ATP's self-proclaimed resident "bad boy," is at it again.


The Italian, ranked World No. 15, has had his share of on-court controversies in his career, and his antics are becoming a weekly occurrence on the ATP Tour. Fognini's opponent today was supposed to be Alexandr Dolgopolov, but in typical Fognini fashion, the match turned into a battle between him and a chair umpire. Today's target? Mohamed Lahyani.

Video: Dimitrov's Impossibly Angled Dropper in Madrid

The drama started early in the match, as Fognini was issued a warning for ball abuse in the first set and later broke a racket. In the third set, Fognini thought he had hit a winner, but Lahyani came down from the chair to overrule the call. While the two engaged in mostly civil conversation, Fognini pulled Lahyani's arm and urged him to see things his way. When the Swede did not, Fognini warned him, “If I lose this match, you’re in big trouble.”

After Dolgopolov finished off the win, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, Fognini appeared to tell Lahyani, "I want to see you now. Come now and don't be scared."

Whatever your opinion on Fognini and this latest incident, it remains to be seen if he will be penalized for taking Layhani by the arm and pulling him to look at the mark. Section VIII of the ATP Rulebook, entitled The Code, covers acceptable standards of behavior. "Unauthorized touching" of an official is one instance covered.  

c) Physical Abuse

i) Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site. For purposes of this rule, physical abuse is the unauthorized touching of an official, opponent, and spectator or other person. 

ii) Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine up to $10,000 for each violation. In addition, if such violation occurs during a match, the player shall be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule. 

Earlier this year at the Australian Open, David Ferrer attempted to put his towel down on a line judge's chair when he used his left arm to push the official standing in his way. He was not fined for the incident. It remains to be seen how, or if, the ATP will react to Fognini's latest episode. 

Dolgopolov, meanwhile, advances to play Ernests Gulbis in the second round.

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