Tennis stars have to be pulled apart as umpire steps in after blazing row

A top chair umpire was forced to physically put herself between two tennis players when a row broke out at the Hamburg Open. Fabio Fognini and Aljaz Bedene were involved in a lengthy altercation at the conclusion of the match, which became the Italian’s 400th career victory. Aurelia Tourte, who recently umpired the Wimbledon men’s singles final, attempted to break up the fight.

Fognini dug out a 6-3 3-6 7-6(5) victory over the Slovenian in almost two-and-a-half hours at the ATP 500 in Hamburg on Tuesday, but Bedene appeared to take issue with a line call and had it out with the world No 61 at the end of the match. “Every time we play, you do something like this,” he was heard telling Fognini.

The altercation escalated, with the gold badge umpire forced to climb down from her chair and put herself in between the two men multiple times, trying to talk them both out of the argument and separate them, even sticking her arms out to create a bigger barrier between Fognini and Bedene.

The world No 285 then took the Italian over to one side of the court to discuss a ball mark, as Fognini could be seen pointing to several places on the ground and shrugging at the 33-year-old. They both returned to the side of the court and continued their row, pointing in each other’s faces as Tourte was again forced to stand between the pair and try to deescalate the altercation.

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