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US OPEN SCENE: Monfils wonders about net's height

Gael Monfils, of France, reacts after a shot to Alejandro Gonzalez, of Colombia, during the second round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Photo:

Gael Monfils, of France, reacts after a shot to Alejandro Gonzalez, of Colombia, during the second round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

NEW YORK (AP) Fabio Fognini is perfecting the art of the outburst at Grand Slam tournaments.

During a second-round U.S. Open loss Friday, the 15th-seeded Fognini - who was fined $27,500 at Wimbledon in June - was back in the act, nearly hitting a line judge with an angry swat of a ball after a double-fault, then utterly destroying a racket by spiking it so hard the handle separated from the rest.

It all happened in the last game of the second set as Fognini was beaten by unseeded Adrian Mannarino of France.

First, serving at 30-all, Fognini hit a second serve long and Mannarino sent the ball back over the net. Standing near the baseline, Fognini smacked the ball out of the air so hard that it thudded against the wall behind the opposite baseline, sending a line judge scampering out of harm's way.

That earned some whistles from fans at Court 13, and a code violation for ball abuse from chair umpire Ali Nili - which in turned earned some swearing in Italian by Fognini.

Later in that game, he missed a forehand and chucked his racket to the ground. On the next point, another errant forehand by Fognini gave away the set, and he spiked his racket once, then picked it up and tossed it again, mangling it. Spectators jeered, and Nili announced a code violation for racket abuse.

- By Howard Fendrich, http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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MEASURE FOR MEASURE: As Gael Monfils hit ball after ball into the net during his first service game Friday at the U.S. Open - resulting in four double-faults - a thought occurred to him: ''Seems pretty high, huh?''

So after getting broken to fall behind 2-0, Monfils figured it wouldn't hurt to check it out for himself.

The rules of tennis call for the net to be 3 feet (91.4 centimeters) tall in the middle, and Monfils walked up and held his hand atop the white tape. He drew a chuckle from chair umpire Gianluca Moscarella by wondering aloud whether the net was set up properly.

''I asked him, like, `Are you sure?''' Monfils said later.

And Moscarella's response?

''He said, `You should kiss the net and it should be better after,''' Monfils recalled with a smile.

Monfils wasn't bothered by the chair umpire's reluctance to measure the net.

''I trust him, because I know they do it before and between the sets,'' the Frenchman said.

The 20th-seeded Monfils wound up with 10 double-faults in all, but that did not prevent him from beating Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round at Flushing Meadows for the first time since a quarterfinal run in 2010.

Next up is a match against another Frenchman, 12th-seeded Richard Gasquet.

Perhaps Monfils should bring a tape measure.

- By Howard Fendrich, http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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U.S. Open Scene follows tennis' hard-court Grand Slam tournament in New York as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It will be updated throughout the day.

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