NEW YORK (AP) — Fabio Fognini was suspended from the U.S. Open on Saturday and faces a possible permanent ban from Grand Slam tournaments while it is determined if he committed a “major offense” during his first-round singles loss.
Fognini also could be fined up $250,000 for violations of the Grand Slam’s code of conduct.
The Grand Slam board said Fognini’s provisional suspension went into effect immediately, so he was withdrawn from the doubles tournament, where he was into the third round with fellow Italian Simone Bolelli.
Fognini was fined $24,000 by the U.S. Open for unsportsmanlike conduct during his 6-4, 7-6 (8), 3-6, 6-0 loss to Stefano Travaglia on Wednesday. He was cited by the tournament for three violations, including one incident in which he insulted a female chair umpire. His fines were for $15,000, $5,000 and $4,000.
The board said the major offenses were under the sections of Article IV dealing with “aggravated behavior” and “conduct contrary to the integrity of the game.” Violation of either section could lead to the permanent suspension from the four major tournaments and the $250,000 penalty.
The board said there would be no further comment until the process is completed.
Fognini, known as a volatile player, was fined $27,500 by Wimbledon in 2014 for his outbursts during a first-round victory.
Fognini is ranked No. 26 in singles and was seeded 22nd here. He also was the Australian Open doubles champion with Bolelli in 2015.
If Serena Williams is to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, she may have to go through her older sister in the fourth round.
Williams, the sixth seed, could play Venus Williams in the round of 16 at Roland Garros, which begins Sunday.
Serena opens against countrywoman Kristie Ahn, whom she beat in the first round at the U.S. Open. Serena could then get her U.S. Open quarterfinal opponent, fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, in the second round.
If Venus is to reach the fourth round, she must potentially get past U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Azarenka beat Serena in the U.S. Open semifinals, ending the American’s latest bid to tie Margaret Court‘s major titles record.
Venus lost in the French Open first round the last two years.
The French Open top seed is 2018 champion Simona Halep, who could play 2019 semifinalist Amanda Anisimova in the third round.
Coco Gauff, the rising 16-year-old American, gets 2019 semifinalist Jo Konta of Great Britain in the first round in the same quarter of the draw as Halep.
The field lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.
Rafael Nadal was put into the same half of the French Open draw as fellow 2018 and 2019 finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria, with top-ranked Novak Djokovic catching a break.
Nadal, trying to tie Roger Federer‘s male record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, could play sixth-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals before a potential clash with Thiem, who just won the U.S. Open.
Djokovic, who is undefeated in 2020 save being defaulted out of the U.S. Open, could play No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the quarterfinals before a possible semifinal with Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Medvedev is the fourth seed but is 0-3 at the French Open. Another possible Djokovic semifinal opponent is fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who reached the fourth round last year.
The most anticipated first-round matchup is between three-time major champion Andy Murray and 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka. In Murray’s most recent French Open match, he lost in five sets to Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals.