2011 French Open

Criticizing Fabio Fognini for Winning and Pulling out for Djokovic Is Ridiculous

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 29:  Fabio Fognini of Italy appeals to the crowd as he is booed after winning the men's singles round four match between Fabio Fognini of Italy and Albert Montanes of Spain on day eight of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 29, 2011 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Darren WongSenior Analyst IMay 30, 2011

There have been some ridiculous criticisms of Fabio Fognini following his victory over Albert Montanes and subsequent withdrawing from the French Open tournament.

You can criticize him all you want for taking an illegal break, and you can criticize the tournament officials for allowing it, but all other criticisms are laughable, especially given the recent history of the sport.

Some people have criticized Fognini for not pulling out during the previous match, stating that he should have given Montanes the chance if he knew he wouldn't be able to go on.

Are you kidding me?

Fognini made a ton of money, one of the biggest paydays of his career by beating Montanes, and you're asking him to step aside as a goodwill gesture?

That's insane, and it's not what professional sports are about.

Aside from that, steppng aside in such a way was exactly the thing that led to the scandal and accusations surrounding Nikolay Davydenko. According to Davydenko, he withdrew from a match he was winning exactly for that same reason.  That didn't stop the ATP tour from going after him with match-fixing allegations that soiled his reputation and caused him to lose valuable sponsorships.

Fognini did absolutely the best and only thing to do by playing out his match and trying to win.

The fact that he pulled out will be somewhat costly to the tournament, but that's not his responsibility.

In the end, the fact that the tournament may lose a bit of money by lacking a quarterfinal match is nothing but unavoidable bad luck.

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