Sponsors have typically turned a blind eye when their star player throws a racquet or abuses an umpire. But looks like tennis’ perennial bad boys, Benoit Paire and Fabio Fognini have gone too far.
Babolat, which sponsors both Paire and Fognini issued a statement warning them but the racquet maker will continue to work with them.
At Babolat, tennis runs in our blood. We believe in the strength of our sport and, defend its values of respect, fair play, team spirit, friendship, and fun of the game. Sometimes a family member can go through a complex period and forget the importance of these values and the example we must pass on to all fans of the sport.
Concerned about the recent outbursts of Benoit Paire and Fabio Fognini, we have informed them that we do not approve of their behavior. Today, we reaffirmed our values and the importance of respecting them. We will think in more detail with Benoit and Fabio about the suites to be given and see together how to accompany them.
The French Tennis Federation (FTF) banned Benoit Paire from participating in the Olympics. Paire has been a vocal critic of the COVID-19 bubble and has been tanking in his matches in the last few months.
Fabio Fognini was disqualified from the Barcelona Open after abusing a line judge. Fognini has a long history of bad behavior on the court but this was his first time to have defaulted from a match.