During a three-set loss to 94th ranked player Tennys Sandgren, a visibly frustrated Fabio Fognini had to take a medical time-out for treatment to his bloodied knuckles on his right hand after punching his racket.
At his news conference Saturday after his defeat, Fognini said his comments came in the heat of the moment. He said he was upset about not playing well and the condition of the court’s grass.
“If I offended anyone, I apologize,” Fognini said in Italian. “That definitely wasn’t my intention.”
An All England Club spokeswoman said there was no immediate comment from tournament officials.
The episode on Saturday, however, will be investigated to determine whether it rises to the level of a major offense because Fognini is still under a two-year probation stemming from when he insulted a female chair umpire at the 2017 U.S. Open and got kicked out of that tournament.
In October 2017, the Grand Slam Board said Fognini would be suspended for two major tournaments if he commits another major offense before the end of this year.
He was docked a then-record $27,500 of his prize money at Wimbledon in 2014 for a series of outbursts during a first-round victory.
The volatile Fognini is married to 2015 U.S. Open champion Flavia Pennetta.
By beating Fognini, Sandgren made it through to the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time and will face fellow American Sam Querrey on Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.