SHANGHAI, China -- Fabio Fognini has added another viral video to his burgeoning scrapbook. After losing 7-6 (5), 6-4 to 553rd-ranked Chinese wildcard Wang Chuhan in the first round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters, Fognini let out his frustration by flipping off the partisan crowd as he walked off the court. Prior to that he threw a water bottle in their direction -- it didn't make it that far -- and pushed aside a dazed Wang as the two shook the umpire's hand after the match.
Watch Fognini discreetly give the crowd his one-fingered salute below:
Minutes after getting back to the locker room Fognini shot off a sarcastic tweet, which translated to "Everyone go home!! FANTASTIC trip to Asia." Fognini went 0-2 in Beijing and Shanghai and is winless in his last five matches.
Tutti a casa !!! FANTASTICA trasferta asiatica— Fabio Fognini (@fabiofogna) October 7, 2014
None of that mattered much to Wang, a 22-year-old from Dalian, China, who was playing his first ATP Tour-level match. As the luck of the draw would have it, Wang actually practiced multiple times with Fognini last week in Beijing. He and his coach were familiar with Fognini's game and it showed. "When I was practicing with him before, I found he's more fast paced than me and many others," Wang said, via translation. "At first when I was just getting into the match, I didn't know what to expect. Gradually I got calmer and I relaxed and I didn't feel that nervous later."
Wang is coached by Juan Manuel Esparcia, a former player who used to coach Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. The Chinese Tennis Association actually funds him to coach both Wang and Liu Siyu, an 18-year-old ranked outside the top 900. Wang credited his coach for getting him the opportunities to practice with Top 100 players and forcing him to be more disciplined on the practice court. "Personally I think mostly [Chinese men] lack experience in international competition because we don't have very high rankings," Wang said. "That's why we have a shortage of opportunities to play international players. Every time I have access, I value such an opportunity."
Wang plays Tunisian qualifier Malek Jaziri in the second round.
Updated: The ATP has fined Fognini $2,000 for "visible obscenity".