Tennis stars physically separated as furious spat erupts

Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso traded angry words at the end of their incredible five-set match as the battle between the Italians turned nasty.

Fognini came back from 1-5 down in the fifth set tiebreak to claim it 14-12 and bring the three hour and 56-minute war to an end as he advanced to the third round of the Australian Open.

The fifth set alone went for 85 minutes and there was no love lost between the pair after Fognini saluted.

They argued with each other at the net and even after Caruso had taken his seat, Fognini went over and continued berate his countryman.

The players wagged their fingers and gestured angrily at each other as their argument lasted for several minutes.

The two had to be physically separated by the supervisor as Caruso collected his gear and made his way off the court, tensions threatening to boil over in a feud that stunned tennis.

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