ATP Madrid Open: Fabio Fognini clashes with umpire in loss to Alexandr Dolgopolov
Fabio Fognini was beaten in round one of the Madrid Open by Alexandr Dolgopolov in what proved an ill-tempered affair.
Last Updated: 07/05/14 8:33am
Golgopolov eventually prevailed 7-5 4-6 6-3 to extend his career record against Fognini to 5-0, but the Italian lost his cool after defeat was confirmed and was involved in a heated exchange with umpire Mohamed Lahyani.
The pair originally clashed when Lahyani made an overrule against the Italian midway through the deciding set which led Fognini to warn the official that there would be "big trouble" if he subsequently went on to lose the match.
When that then happened, Fognini made his way off the court still clearly seething and said to Lahyani: "You come now, I want to see you. Don't be scared."
It was a rather ugly end to an entertaining match that had swung back and forth for the most part.
Fognini was a break up at 4-2 in the first set before allowing his opponent back into things, but he produced some fine tennis in the second to level.
But a single break proved enough for Dolgopolov in the decider and, once his opponent had rather lost his rag after the spat with Lahyani, the Ukrainian was able to serve out with few problems.
Nicolas Almagro - conqueror of Rafa Nadal in Barcelona last week - advanced to the second round, but not before being pushed all the way by Andrey Golubev.
The Kazakh fended off an incredible nine match points before Almagro finally got the job done in a third-set tie-break, winning 6-3 6-7 (7/9) 7-6 (7/3).
Number 14 seed Tommy Haas endured an early exit as he was beaten 3-6 6-1 6-4 by Dutchman Igor Sijsling.
Elsewhere, there were wins for Kevin Anderson of South Africa, Latvia's Ernest Gulbis and Juan Monaco of Argentina.