(AP) — Fabio Fognini, an Italian tennis
player, has apologized for yelling at himself with a homophobic slur during a loss in the Olympic
During his three-set loss to Russian
player Daniil Medvedev in the third round on Wednesday, Fognini used the offensive Italian word several times.
Fognini wrote on Instagram
early Thursday that the extreme heat
"affected his head" and that he "used a really stupid expression toward myself."
“Obviously, I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings,” Fognini explained, adding, "I love the LGBT community
and I apologize for the nonsense that I let out."
The Instagram story had a rainbow
During the match, Medvedev nearly passed out due to the heat, and Fognini also struggled with it.
During the loss, Fognini repeatedly slammed his racket, including after the final point, when he picked it up and tossed it into a courtside trash can.
Fognini was kicked out of the US Open
doubles tournament in 2017 after vulgarly insulting the chair umpire during his first-round loss in singles, and he was then given a two-year suspension from Grand Slam