Rome - Fabio Fognini has apologised for insulting a chair
umpire at the US Open and said he is prepared to discuss his mistake with
schoolchildren as a lesson.
Fognini was kicked out of the New York tournament on Saturday
and could be banned from all Grand Slam events.
"I apologize to everyone, not only the chair umpire, to
whom I already apologized in New York, but to everyone who felt offended -
women above all," Fognini told Italy's Sky TV in a report that was broadcast
"Being described as sexist hurt me, because it's not
true," said Fognini, who is married to 2015 US Open champion Flavia
The couple's son, Federico, was born in May.
Fognini was fined $24 000 for unsportsmanlike conduct during
his singles loss to Stefano Travaglia.
"I understand the gravity of my gesture and I know I
did something seriously wrong," Fognini said. "I'm prepared to enter
a tennis school, or any school, and speak to the kids and say what I think -
which is that I made a mistake and it won't happen again."
Fognini, known as a volatile player, was fined $27 500 by
Wimbledon in 2014 for his outbursts during a first-round victory. He has been
working on calming his nerves with a mental coach.
"It's my limit, I realize it and I'm working on it with
a mental trainer," Fognini said. "We were doing pretty well lately
and then comes this outburst, which can't be explained."
Fognini's suspension meant he was withdrawn from the doubles
tournament, where he and Simone Bolelli had advanced to the third round.
If the Grand Slam Board determines Fognini committed a
"major offence," the Italian also could be fined up to $250 000 for
violating the code of conduct.