Fognini floors Thiem in Foro Italico clash
Dominic Thiem was not unduly concerned after a "pumped" Fabio Fognini knocked the sixth seed out of the Italian Open on Wednesday.
The Austrian was unable to match the energy of the Italian, who was inspired by a vociferous home crowd at the Foro Italico, less than a week after he had beaten Rafael Nadal in Madrid.
Fognini's 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 win comes a year after he beat then world number one Andy Murray in Rome and puts him through to face Peter Gojowczyk in the last 16.
"I beat a top clay-courter," said the Italian, who grazed the flower beds lining the court to return Thiem's high-bouncing topspin serves.
"I think I deserved it at the end. … I ruined a few flowers but I think the federation can afford to buy some new ones."
Fognini drop-kicked his racket onto the court after a miss early in the third set, but it was the usually sanguine Thiem who lost his cool at the death when he smashed his racket into a mangled wreck before handing it to a fan in the final game.
"I played very well today," said Thiem, a beaten finalist in Madrid on Sunday. "It was just him, he was very pumped playing at home.
"It's a loss which is not too painful, which is just motivating me for the next weeks."
Simon Barlow has a wealth of journalism experience and in-depth knowledge in a number of sports. As well as his extensive football knowledge, Simon is also well versed on cricket, tennis, American Football and cycling amongst others.