World number one Rafael Nadal maintains his fine form and fitness throughout the entirety of 2017, returning to the top spot, in terms of rankings, after three years.
Not only has he returned to the top spot, and won a Grand Slam already this year, he's also considered one of the favourites to take home the US Open.
The Spanish ace started the tournament in phenomenal fashion, as he secured impressive wins over Dusan Lajovic, Taro Daniel, and Leonardo Mayer, thereby registering his place in the fourth round clash against Alexandr Dolgopolov on Sunday.
Dropping just two sets in the competition so far, Nadal outlasted Mayer with the scoreline 6-7(3-7), 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.
However, the highlight of the day came during his post-match interview after the win, when he questioned the Grand Slam Board [GSB] following the sanctioning of fines and suspension imposed on beleaguered star Fabio Fognini.
The 31-year-old criticised the governing body for failing to take action sooner after they took almost three days to announce the verdict on the issue.
Fognini, during his first round singles match, was heard using insulting language towards the Swedish umpire Louise Engzelle, who later reported the Italian for calling her, in Italian, ‘troia’ and ‘bocchinara’ – meaning ‘w**re’ and ‘co*ks**ker’.
Fines worth £18,500 were handed to the world number 26, and he was suspended from the tournament with immediate effect.
Although being ousted in the first round in the men’s singles division, Fognini was scheduled to play the third round doubles match against American duo Nicholas Monroe and the Australian John Patrick Smith, alongside partner Simone Boletti.
The tie will now be forfeited in favour of the Aussie-American pair.
Describing the scenario as ‘not ideal’, Nadal gave his take on the matter, saying: “Of course is not a positive thing [what Fognini did]. Of course if you are not doing the right things on the court, of course you need to be in some way affected," as per Metro.
“But at the same time is true that things can be made happen earlier because I believe that he played two matches after that match, two doubles matches.
“If they want to suspend him, will be much better to do it immediately, not three days later or four days later, because then he was here playing for a few days. Now he is out already winning two matches.
“I think is not the ideal situation. Probably something that will go immediately to check it, and if he deserves a suspension, he takes it, and if he doesn’t deserve, don’t take it.”
Suggested by many present at the venue that translating the judgement from Italian to English could have been the reason for the delay of the verdict, but, Nadal is far from being convinced by that.
The 15-time Grand Slam winner instantly replied: “It takes four days for that translation? I don’t think so. It’s easy to find.”
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